Spying On Lions with Elephant Poop

Sometimes, nature's best images are not taken with the best cameras and the largest objectives. Sometimes all it takes is a load of elephant dung. The results are cute, frightening, majestic, and always stunningly beautiful.

Spying On Lions with Elephant Poop

That's what wildlife photographers Anup and Manoj Shah did in the heart of Masai Mara—a natural park in southern Kenya—for six months: Disguise their digital cameras with elephant dung and grass to take these intimate, peeping Tom views on the life of twenty lions.

Spying On Lions with Elephant Poop

The rest of the mechanism was almost as low tech as the elephant dung used as camouflage: An infrared beam that, when broken, fired up two digital cameras. It seems simple, but according to them the important part was not the technology itself. The key here was anticipating the movement of the lions as they roamed Masai Mara in order to prepare the photo traps. As their work shows, they succeeded in both the technology and strategy parts, proving that technology—any technology—works at its best thanks to the intelligence of the people who use it.

You will be able to enjoy their amazing work in a new book coming in 2011 called The Lions of Mara. Yes, books. Those things made out of paper. [Daily Mail]