Camera Trap Project – Mission Footprint part III
Elephant Hills, 20.02.2016
Along the way from the Rainforest Camp to Klong Bangchong we were accompanied by a symphony of gibbon calls from near and far. We were determined to find endagangered species, indigenous to this habitat. Since Khao Sok Nationalpark can even compete with the biodiversity of the Amazon, we were rewarded quickly:
Right at the beginning of the trek we saw wild elephant footprints and some mysterious new spoors…
When we arrived to the place where we setup the first camera, we were surprised: One of our cameras was gone- only a small mark on the tree, where we placed it, remained. We started to walk around and search for it in this area,where we had elephant and tapir sighting before, but we did not find it.
We continued walk to the next cameras and the dry leaves on the trail crunched under our shoes. These leaf covered paths are used by animals frequently and therefor we call them “animal corridors”. Unfortunately that means at the same time, that you can’t see any footprints: animals know how to hide themselves.
We stopped at the waterfall (Bangchong Waterfall) and rested- for a short time only, because we suddenly heard the distinct sound of breaking bamboo branches. Curious, but very carefully, we started walking again, while we still heard this sounds, just much closer by and more often. The Ranger told us to walk more quietly and slowly.
We found very fresh wild elephant dung and according to the sounds that we heard, we almost met the elephant heard personally! Since you have to be very careful with them, especially in case there are baby elephants with their mothers, we sat behind a little hill for a bit until we were certain, that they are gone. I’m sure they could feel we were here and so could we with them.
We continued walking again after this amazing spotting, still cautious of course…
When we arrived at the place where we setup the camera near a pond, we saw a roughneck monitor lizard running away from us. We had lunch near the cliff like every time, suddenly interrupted by a barking sound. Do we have wild dogs in the jungle? No, the sound that we heard in the jungle is from a Malayan Sun Bear!
Back in the office, we were all very curious to see what footage was on the camera traps. And it gets better and better: after we checked the camera trap video we found out, that a Clouded leopard was there only 2 days ago!
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