Devoted researchers came to the conclusion that a leopard is one of the offenders that has been snatching young birds from a hornbill nest at this very moment!
Animals are capable of the most incredible feats. more so if they aren’t aware that they are being recorded or observed. Kyle-Mark Middleton, a 32-year-old Ph.D. candidate, and Carrie Hickman, a project researcher, stumbled onto this camera trap footage. A cunning leopard taking a young bird from a nest of hornbills.
“For the past 22 years, the APNR Ground-Hornbill Project has been studying and protecting the species. Installing artificial nests to enable breeding in places where natural nests no longer exist is a part of conservation initiatives.
“We visited the nest as part of our regular nest inspections to check on breeding and the well-being of the nestlings. We heard something rustling above when we got to the nest, then it jumped down. When we arrived at the nest’s base, the half-eaten fledgling was lying there. To investigate what had transpired, we retrieved the camera trap.
A newborn Ground Hornbill named Hornbill-chick had been taken by the leopard from its nest, and it was now being examined. That chick would have long since vanished if it weren’t for the diligent researchers conducting their examinations. Given that there is still, unhappily, a snack waiting, the predator will probably stay put.
We were devastated to see the film since losing a baby is a significant blow for these threatened species of birds. At the same time, it’s fortunate that we found the offender. We frequently discover empty nests and can only surmise that it was eaten. However, we will never know what kind of animal it was.
“Thank goodness, this camera was up and running at the appropriate moment. It greatly advances our knowledge of these birds and the natural predators they must contend with. Predation incidents are incredibly unusual to be captured on our camera traps. This is the third time we have documented a leopard predation episode since we began utilizing video traps. The fact is that this is awful. It is vital to keep in mind that, despite one’s ability to empathize with the prey, one shouldn’t demonize the predator.