CREW Deer Monitoring Reveals Unexpected Wildlife Encounter

Monitoring wildlife populations helps us understand the health and status of various species and provides essential information when making land and wildlife management decisions at CREW.

Kathleen Smith, Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission biologist assigned to CREW, conducts  deer surveys in portions of CREW using remote sensing cameras. In addition to providing information on the deer populations, these surveys help test specific methods for estimating deer populations. Using baited stations with remote sensing cameras set up nearby, the bait stations and cameras are deployed for about two weeks. Then the photos are analyzed and deer numbers, gender, ages, and activity recorded.

Anytime remote cameras are set up in the woods, it is expected that a variety of wildlife will appear and be captured as they enter the viewfinder of the camera. But you don’t always expect “action shots” of animals doing crazy things in the wild. This year, however, was an exception. As the photos got downloaded to the computers, and Kathleen and her team were quickly flipping through them, one particular action shot caught their attention. Take a look at the following sequence of photos to see what caught their eye… (click on each photo for a larger image)

Raccoon visits bait station (Photo by FFWCC)
Raccoon visits bait station (Photo by FFWCC)
Alligator attacks raccoon (Photo by FFWCC)
Alligator attacks raccoon (Photo by FFWCC)
Alligator after attack on raccoon (Photo by FFWCC)
Alligator after attack on raccoon (Photo by FFWCC)

How’s that for a surprise? Pretty amazing timing for a remote camera shot! And so much for the bait station! What do you think…did the raccoon get away?

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