Cleopatra, our little 3-legged Ruppells fox from Kuwait, has been well .... sort of invisible. We know she’s there in her enclosure, she eats all her food, drinks her water, we see her tracks, and we have to clean up her “poop”, but we never see her. On occasion we have gotten a glimpse of her, but not very often and when that very slim chance does come along, we never have a camera. She is truly nocturnal.
Sometimes we stay late and wait to see her come out to eat or come in early hoping to get a glance at her but, no. Recently I needed to get some pictures of Cleopatra for her sponsors (Become Cleo's sponsor here) and just to see how she is doing. Thinking hard about how to get a photo of her, a light bulb finally went off-- we went and bought what I think they call a trail camera and set it up in her enclosure facing the den we know she burrows in.
We couldn’t wait for the next morning so that we could pull the camera chip and put it on the computer. We saw the staff put her food down, and as her caretakers walked away at the end of the day a couple of blue jays flew in to eat some and then low and behold, there she was, romping around and playing. She had a ball and was pretty active throughout the night, playing with things in her area, resting, taking a nap and then playing again. She did that right up until she heard the morning caretaker coming and right on cue, she was in her burrow under her den box in a flash.
The next night the same thing -- the way the camera is facing you can actually see our staff walking out of her gate, locking it, and as they walk away you can see Cleo’s little nose coming up out of her burrow. Although she’s one sly fox, we finally outsmarted her, at least for her picture.