Along with increasingly lush nature documentaries and the proliferation of animal cams — see “Who Needs Zoos? In Praise of Nature Cams” for more on that — there’s been another development in the history of capturing images of the natural world: the popularity of GoPro cameras.
GoPros are more commonly associated with action sports, but their rugged design has clearly proved attractive to wildlife documentarians, too. (We reported on the rise of GoPro last year; most recently the company has been in the news thanks to a successful IPO.)
But the most interesting thing about GoPros in the wild — whether wielded by adventurous nature lovers or simply left alone in strategic untamed corners of the world — is that they give us a chance to deduce what animals think about having human technology in their midst.
The answer? They attack it, confiscate it, and indifferently stomp it. Or at least that’s what I conclude from these 11 videos.
1. “Eaten” by grizzly
This happy-go-lucky bear doesn’t literally eat the camera, but when it discovers it after a cheerful, fish-catching river romp, it does seem to consider making the gizmo its dessert.
2. Stolen by monkey
Perhaps annoyed at having its picture taken by a tourist, this Balinese monkey simply takes the thing, runs away — and makes selfies.
3. Kicked by giraffe
Human gadgetry is beneath the notice of this magnificent creature. Way beneath.
4. Bitten by snake
Bike riders encounter a rattlesnake, and naturally stop to shove a camera in its face. They’re lucky it lashed out at the gizmo, not them.
5. Batted by unimpressed leopard
An unattended camera catches the attention of a female leopard, which bats it around, carries it away — and then gets bored with the thing and leaves it in the bush.
6. Chomped by lion
Guy mounts GoPro on some kind of remote-control device, sends it to bug some lions. Lion does its best to destroy the thing with its mighty jaws and paws. Wouldn’t you? (Bonus: At the very end of this clip, an elephant seems to consider stomping the camera and then to decide: Why bother?)
7. Pummeled by moose
In fairness, it’s hard to say whether this moose is aware of the camera on this guy’s head. But it’s definitely not in the mood to be documented. “First time I’ve ever been beat up by a baby moose,” the photographer remarks at one point.
8. Menaced by gator
While its enormous jaws do appear capable of swallowing the gizmo, it’s probably best for all concerned that it did not.
9. Eaten by shark
Here, sadly, we have only secondary footage — once this particular camera ended up in a great white’s belly, the point-of-view shots became … unavailable.
10. Attacked by prairie dog
OK, so the prairie dog does not seem capable of doing much damage. But it does seem to want this surveillance device removed from its front door.
11. Basically rejected by the entire animal kingdom
And if that’s not enough for you, check out this compilation clip — a minute and a half of creatures great and small, wild and domesticated, just trying to get technology out of their lives once and for all.