Science is fun. Even research is fun. When you tie those in with mammals the results can be quite unexpected.
I don’t bait my camera traps. But I had seen a video clip from a camera trap where coyotes had taken off with a dog’s toy and started playing with it. It inspired me to do my own experiment because the coyotes that call at 3 Rivers Foundation home are quite playful during the entire year.
It was right before Valentine’s Day when I saw the coyote and dog toy video and I waited until all the Valentine’s Day bears went on sale. I bought three bears in white, red, and purple.
I went about setting the bears out in front of one of my cameras on February 18th at 2:13 pm. It was a windy afternoon and evening and the bears eventually had fallen over.
By 9:13 pm I had activity but not the action I was hoping for.
Three raccoons came from the north and walked right up to the bears. Each claiming a bear. They didn’t really do anything with the bears but at least their curiosity caused them to check them out. What surprised me is that not one single raccoon picked up a bear. The one on the left did some numbing on the bear like it was testing it to see if it would squeak, but that was about it.
Unfortunately, no coyotes approached the bears. White-tailed deer were aloof and even one feral hog paused long enough to think about them. Wind eventually blew the bears out of the camera’s range.
Yeah – my teddy bear experiment did not go as planned. At least tried. Science, as well as research, can be fun, especially when you don’t get the results you were hoping for.