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FIELDWORK

A typical tour of duty with an Anti Poaching team
By David S Gill, Chairman, The Sumatran Tiger Trust.

We arrive at the first site where one of our cameras is working remotely to take photographs when we are not there. This is the housing that contains the camera. The elephants in the forest are incredibly inquisitive and can be very destructive, so after having a number of cameras stood on and ruined these steel frames were made to protect the cameras from prying trunks and feet. The atmosphere is so humid and hot that very special care and techniques are needed to make sure the cameras work efficiently once we leave and until we return. Apri has been doing this since 1995 and must be the most experienced forest remote camera technician anywhere in the world.

To test the camera is working we have to crawl like a tiger through the infra red beam which is fired across the trail to the camera. When the beam is broken the camera takes a picture. Here I am testing the camera before we leave along the trail. The camera was left to hopefully to reveal the secrets of the forest.

 The photo below was the very next frame on the film. It was taken only an hour or two after we left. This tiger, who we names Gill's Friend, was checking out all the smells and evidence from us humans.



 
 



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