The largest camera trap study ever done in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania revealed the daily routines of the park’s unique wildlife, often as they got up close and personal with the cameras.
This isn’t a view of a cheetah that anyone would normally have without risk life and limb.
The scientists of Snapshot Serengeti mounted 225 camera traps on trees and metal poles in a 434 square mile area of the park in the hopes of capturing their secret lives. What they got was astounding. The cameras captured 1.2 million sets of photos (three photos per set) from June 2010 to May 2013, according to the study published on June 9 in Scientific Data.
While the cameras aren’t rigged to attract wildlife — they wanted to see what the animals were doing in their natural habitats, without any humans around — the group caught tons of amazing photos.
“We wanted the cameras to give an unbiased view of how these animals were using the landscape,” Swanson said. The photos captured Serengeti’s wildlife, like the cheetahs below, in ways not many have seen them before. Cheetahs seemed to love mugging for the cameras, often lounging, playing, and eating in front of them.
Cheetah are notoriously fast — they can hit up to 60 miles per hour in a matter of seconds. The stationary cameras wouldn’t have captured this cheetah as it chased its prey, but it did manage to photograph the aftermath of the hunt.
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