What happens when you leave a game trail camera in a floodplain?

Back in the summer of 2007 my parents and I saw a cougar (Puma concolor, Felidae) on their farm in southeast Michigan.  Over the course of two weeks we saw it three times but we never had a camera handy. Determined to capture the big cat on film, I put a game trail camera with a motion-activated shutter out in the woods where we saw it.  I knew I placed the camera in a floodplain, but I got busy with work and didn’t remove it before we experienced several days of heavy rain.  As the nearby river swelled with precipitation, this is what the camera recorded in its final days (note the AM/PM is backwards on the timestamp):

Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana, Didelphidae) recorded by a game trail camera in southeast Michigan on 08/16/2007.

Raccoon (Procyon lotor, Procyonidae) recorded by a game trail camera in southeast Michigan on 08/17/2007.

Rising flood water recorded by a game trail camera in southeast Michigan on 08/19/2007.

Raccoons (Procyon lotor, Procyonidae) recorded by a game trail camera in southeast Michigan on 08/20/2007.

Raccoon (Procyon lotor, Procyonidae) recorded by a game trail camera in southeast Michigan on 08/21/2007.

Raccoon (Procyon lotor, Procyonidae) recorded by a game trail camera in southeast Michigan on 08/22/2007.

Raccoon (Procyon lotor, Procyonidae) recorded by a game trail camera in southeast Michigan on 08/22/2007.

Rising flood water recorded by a game trail camera in southeast Michigan on 08/25/2007.

Rising flood water recorded by a game trail camera in southeast Michigan on 08/25/2007.

And that was the end of my game trail camera.  It was completely underwater when I finally had time to recover it.  I never did get a photo of the cougar, but the images of the raccoons and rising water were entertaining.

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Vertebrate Zoology, Weather and Climate and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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