Well, camera thieves struck!
Yesterday, we set a camera at a new location along a river. There had been significant otter activity in the area...we had seen a mink there last month....there was a beaver sighting at the time of camera deployment AND we'd observed yellow-crowned night herons nearby.
Perfect place, right?
I broke all of my own rules, which was stupid.
We were in a rush. So I forgot to put my name on the camera (stupid). We didn't have a security box, so I just python locked the camera through the plastic brackets on the camera body (stupid). AND the water in the river was low, so I didn't realize how easy it would be for someone to rock-hop over to the bank where the camera was (stupid).
We were only going to leave it there for a few days, and we'd be by the spot every day to check on the cam. I figured we were safe (stupid).
The worst part is that the camera wasn't the only thing stolen. We had placed it somewhat near the turtle trap we'd been deploying as part of our surveys. This morning, I waded out towards the turtle trap...and didn't see it at first (figured I was just missing it in the water from a distance). Then, I glanced over to the camera and saw the python lock around the tree with NO camera attached.
"Someone stole the camera", I said to Dave.
"They also got the turtle trap", Dave responded.
We looked over to see the two cinder blocks that we use to secure the trap laying in the water...between them the metal of the sardine can used as bait reflected the sun weakly through the murky river.
The had busted the plastic brackets on the body of the camera to steal it. Then they waded into the river and untied the blocks, dumped the bait can and stole the trap.
Guess I'll inform the police......
The camera was not the highest quality (a Tasco, that we were trying out).
I hope it doesn't work and the thieves get some sort of shock from an electrical short, or something....
Had such high hopes for some nice otter and mink pics, too.
Mr. Thief...whoever you are...just remember....Karma's a bitch.