02 July 2011

Badger Busyness

Two Honey Badgers visited my Bushnell camera trap at Tygerberg in June.

Honey Badger (Ratel - Mellivora capensis) at Tygerberg checking out the camera

This is the same camera as the one that photographed the Caracal with the Mole Rat in its mouth. The day before the Honey Badgers made their appearance the camera was still pointing in more or less the original position I set it to.

Cape Francolin (Kaapse Fisant - Pternistes capensis) walking past

The branch in the center of the frame appeared halfway through the camera trapping session. It might have been the handy work of the Bontebok or a strong wind.

The badgers immediately showed interest in the tuna can that I places in an exposed rodent tunnel.

What is that smell?

Sniff... Sniff...

They investigated the source of the stench. When I placed the Bushnell at this location there was already very little actual tuna left in the can. Most of it was gone already, most likely consumed by fly larva and other insects.

However, the badgers still gave the can a decent investigation. I have no doubt that if they wanted to they could dig out the can and chew it open, but I guess they were more interested in the smell, than a potential meal.



But since they were in a rodent neighbourhood, the badgers just could not resist to look down a couple of borrows. One never knows, you might just be lucky.

What's down this hole?

After investigating the tuna can, then the other burrows, they decided to turn their attention on the "strange glowing red thing"...

And what's this thing doing here? Time to settle the score, buddy...

The camera lost the battle and the next morning the it woke up facing in a new direction...

Yes, somewhere in this photograph is a Karoo Prinia (Karoolangstertjie - Prinia maculosa)

The camera was down for 6 days. Not taking photographs of much more than warm vegetation and the occasional bird hopping past.

Then on the sixth day something appeared...

ALERT!! Human detected!!

All camera trappers will know the feeling of seeing these images. When this image first popped up I couldn't help but fear for the safety of my camera. Fortunately, common sense returned and I remembered that the camera was safe. So what was this person doing? I couple of images followed showing this friendly soul picking up the badgered camera and placing it upright once again.

Thanks to this person's help the camera had the chance to get a photograph of a porcupine passing by.

Porcupine (Ystervark - Hystrix africaeaustralis) coming in for a sniff

About two days later I did my rounds and checked the camera. This camera set had a slow start, but in the end it really payed off.


  1. Holy Cow! You had a random person find the camera and not only did they NOT steal it, they fixed its orientation for you??!?!?!?!

    Wish I had that kind of luck!

    Great pics.

  2. I always worry about location with regard to other humans. Reckon you were pretty fortunate.

    In this part of the world badgers and pine martens will often get far too interested in a trail cam. I once had a badger trying to pull it out of a tree and on another occasion a pine marten sniffed all over it and then scent marked it.

    I thought it was a bit sticky when I retrieved it and realised why when I viewed the clips.

  3. A pair of them, no less, and then the mysterious camera trap guardian. You are having some good adventures.