After a long and busy day of leading a film crew during a recent wildlife capture operation, Lésa van Rooyen, Peace Parks Communication Coordinator, finally makes it back to her room for the night to get some much-needed shut-eye before another big day. But sleep does not come easy as it dawns on Lésa that she has accidentally misplaced her Nikon camera when packing up after the day’s exciting events.
If misplacing a camera isn’t gut-wrenching enough, the heavens have opened, and rain is bucketing down, which doesn’t bode well for any electronic device left out in the elements. Unable to access the capture location at night, Lésa and filmmaker Pieter Uys head out early the next morning to retrace their tracks from the previous day’s activities. This takes their low-level vehicle along a rather muddy and treacherous dirt road back to the capture site. As the car skids and slides in the mud, the pair anxiously makes it back and begins their search in the dark.
Although losing a camera is heart-breaking, the actual loss would have been the footage, so a few tense moments are spent searching the various vehicles used the previous day. Thankfully, the camera is soon found resting on the side of a tractor. It is fair to say that Nikon’s weather-proof camera seals were certainly tested here, and fortunately both the footage and the camera survived!
The beautiful images that were captured, and can be seen in the video above, document a historic event that Peace Parks Foundation and partners are involved with to reintroduce a founder population of both the critically endangered black rhino and near threatened white rhino to Zinave National Park. This will be the first founder population of rhino in a Mozambican national park since they went locally extinct 40 years ago. This will also see Zinave become the first ‘Big 5’ national park in Mozambique.
You can watch more on the rhino translocation here.
After solemnly swearing to never leave it out in the rain again, the Nikon D750 lives to snap another tale of a Peace Parks adventure.