Sunday, April 18, 2010

Another kind of crittercam

In quick succession while checking the weird news on Friday, I came across 2 very different animals stealing photo equipment. An amateur diver off the coast of Wellington, New Zealand, was getting some footage of a large octopus with his new underwater camera when the creature reached out with a tentacle, grabbed it, and "swam away very quickly like a naughty shoplifter." The camera - being used for the 1st time - kept recording (and it's worth the wait to watch it). Meanwhile, on an island of the coast of northern Alaska, a polar bear that apparently "just didn't want his picture taken" charged a group of tourists and ran off with the most expensive tripod in the bunch while they retreated to their trucks. Searching for a 3rd example, all I came up with was an old story of the famous lion Elsa in the Prescott Evening Courier (page 9):
"She is genuinely shy and always hates being filmed or sketched. As soon as she sees one of those awful shiny boxes focused on her she invariably turns her head, or covers it with a paw or just walks away. On this last day she had to endure a lot from our Leica and plainly got thoroughly fed up with it. So finally she took her revenge. When, for a moment, I left the camera unguarded, she leapt up, sprang upon it and galloped away with it over the rocks. For more than an hour we tried every device to rescue it, but as we tried each new trick we invented for the purpose, she shook it more provokingly between her teeth, or chewed at it, holding it firmly between her paws. Finally we recovered it, and miraculously it was not badly damaged."
More persistence on my part turned up a monkey attempting to steal the video camera of a tourist in Costa Rica and dog successfully making off with a camera while it is still recording. Lastly, let's have another look at this charming footage (featured in an earlier follow-up) of a young chimpanzee discovering a remotely-operated video camera in Congo!

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