This plucky "Beetlecam" photography droid gets in hungry lions' faces

To capture the lions of Masai Mara on camera, British wildlife photographer William Burrard-Lucas devised with an ingenious solution — his wheeled, shielded, and camouflaged Beetlecam. After teasing out the kinks of his first model, he set this new version to roam around the Kenyan savannah. As you can see above, Beetlecam's thick hide was an absolute necessity. Explains Burrard-Lucas at his blog:

Two weeks later, our armoured BeetleCam was scarred and battered; the screws that held it together were losing their thread and the carapace was covered in scratches and bite marks. However, we could breathe a sigh of relief because we had reached the end of our trip and we hadn't lost a camera this time!

Here's but a sampling of the many astounding photographs that Beetlecam escaped away with. You can see many more here (1, 2, 3). Burrard-Lucas will also build you a Beetlecam if there are big cats in your neighborhood that require circumspect snooping.

Illustration for article titled This plucky Beetlecam photography droid gets in hungry lions faces
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Illustration for article titled This plucky Beetlecam photography droid gets in hungry lions faces
Illustration for article titled This plucky Beetlecam photography droid gets in hungry lions faces
Illustration for article titled This plucky Beetlecam photography droid gets in hungry lions faces

[Via IEEE Spectrum]

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DISCUSSION

The pictures are awesome, and the video is funny, but isn't the purpose of wildlife observers just to observe. He looks like he's using the camera to interact, and play with the lions.

Maybe this is just an example and not how the camera was really used. But getting the lions attention with a breakable camera seems like a bad idea.