Camera traps capture a genet riding a buffalo’s back at KZN Game Reserve.
There have been many cases where camera traps have caught animals doing things we don’t often get to witness. These cameras offer us a unique insight into an individual animal’s behaviour, habits and preferences. Often when more than one species is photographed together, it is because these species have known associations in regard to overlapping food resources or benefits. An example of this is when impala and baboons are seen together. This is because impala use the baboons as an extra alarm system alerting them to any potential danger.
However, the following series of photographs that were captured by the Hluhluwe camera traps have utterly stumped both me and the conservation volunteers. I have personally never seen or heard of the following two species being seen together – never mind being caught doing what they did…
What makes it even more interesting, is that it’s not the first time this has happened. According to the Hluhluwe monitors this is ongoing behavior by the genet. The Images Posted on the Wildlife ACT Facebook Page has gone viral within a few hours due to the rare behaviour of the animals in the pic!
This series of photographs depicts a large spotted genet on top of, yes actually sitting on top of, two individual buffalo. One of the buffalo seemed to be unimpressed with the genet and can be seen turning around and thus shaking the genet off. The other buffalo was quite content to let the genet “tag along” for an evening stroll.
The genet seemed to have spent this particular evening riding buffalo!
We can only speculate as to why this genet decided that hitch-hiking was a good idea, but can confidently say that this is fantastically bizarre. We are all wondering if this was a once-off occurrence or if this genet will be making a habit of dropping in and catching a lift with strangers in the dark.
Why do we use camera traps?
Wildlife ACT uses camera traps as a non-invasive form of wildlife monitoring on a few of the KwaNatal Zululand Game Reserves where we are stationed. The camera traps are placed strategically and usually in hard to navigate areas. They are triggered by movement and use a flash at night that doesn’t irritate the animals as is evident in this series of images. These camera traps are perfect for monitoring generally shy or nocturnal animals or priority species such as rhino, cheetah and leopard. By studying the photographs collected we are able to identify individual animals and plot their territories. This is critical to our ongoing research and makes it easier to monitor them in the future.