A motion-sensor wildlife camera was positioned in a gorge overlooking the Margaret River in an attempt by Western Australian wildlife rangers to get photos of freshwater crocodiles.
When the camera went missing in May, they figured it had fallen into the river and was lost forever.
Not so. ABC Australia revealed Monday that the camera was found 68 miles away and that it had been stolen. The wildlife rangers didn't need much sleuthing to finger the thief. The perpetrator was revealed in 30-second snippets on the video camera.
The thief? A juvenile sea eagle. Here is part of the incriminating video:
Aboriginal rangers had set up the wildlife camera near a crocodile meat trap. Gooniyandi ranger Roneil Skeen told ABC that the camera disappeared soon after. That was some seven months ago.
A few weeks ago, a Parks and Wildlife ranger found the camera at the Mary River, about 110 kilometers (68 miles) away from where it had been placed.
"It was pretty amazing because it's one of the first camera traps to ever get picked up," Skeen told ABC. "They've had camera traps moved [by animals] before, but not taken off, like a flying camera you know?
"It was pretty cool [and] we were pretty shocked."
Lesson learned, the rangers told ABC that from now on they'll be bolting down their wildlife cameras.
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