Camera Traps: The New (and Best) Way to View Wildlife
Ecologists and conservation biologists are using camera traps as portals into the everyday happenings in the animal kingdom—but we’re not talking caged animals at a zoo. Even on safaris targeted toward rural reserves, it can be hard to catch species in their native habitats. Carefully placed cameras have provided the perfect opportunity to view and study wildlife without bothering the subjects. The images from this specific initiative—which all together is referred to as Snapshot Serengeti—provide another valuable aspect aside from research: an extremely intimate look at the everyday life of wild animals.
How it works: The only roles people play in this process are setting up the camera, switching out batteries when they’re low, collecting the memory cards, and identifying the photo subjects. Whenever the camera senses movement, heat, or any other environmental change, it snaps a photo. The images don’t always include an animal—sometimes a breathtaking sunset shot makes an appearance instead.
The photos are raw; sometimes depicting gruesome group feasts, attempts to eat the camera itself, mini stampedes, and unexpected selfies. Click through for a glimpse into the Serengeti like you’ve never seen it before.
A group of elephants (adorable babies included) out enjoying the day.
A group of eland antelope come together for a surprisingly symmetric shot showing off all of their best angles.
A curious young lion checks out the trap camera set-up.
Two zebras crowd in for a close-up.
The camera captures a buffalo making his way through the shadows.
A lioness brings home dinner.
Fun fact: A group of wildebeests are called an implausibility.
A lion creeps through the camera frame.
A gazelle takes in the tech, resulting in the best animal selfie ever taken.
Even zebras enjoy sunset strolls.
Caught! A cheetah gets up-close-and-personal with the camera.