Information from the Animal of the Year team
Again a week without badgers. There was no sign of them at the sett nor at the second camera nearby placed at the burrows. But despite the absence of our main hero, life in the forest was brisk.
Two curious raccoon dogs-to-be came into the sett camera view. Probably the offspring of the badger pair that had wintered here and were often seen in the camera records. Small raccoon dogs are used to do everything together. If one happens to be needy the other one must relieve itself too. Together they moved to get to the bog pine copse.
At midnight next day the camera at first recorded gleaming eyes of a raccoon dog pup that was hurrying towards the sett. Immediately after that a second recording followed with a desperate cry of distress and a wolf trotting in the direction of the sound. After this sounds of struggle very close to the camera. A trail camera will start recording only when an animal is already in camera view. Never before. Sometimes the video starts with a small delay. Taking in account the characteristics of the camera we can reconstruct what happened in the night as follows: the raccoon dog pups fled together from the wolves. The first fleeing pup was not recorded by the camera, but did trigger it. In the recordings we see the second pup that followed at a short distance stopping on the sett for a moment and looking back anxiously. The brief recording time of the camera is then up and the second clip shows another wolf trotting in the direction of the distress screams of the pup. The second clip too was initiated by an animal outside the record, the first wolf that caught the prey and in whose jaws the pup screams. The trotting wolf recorded in the camera hurries to help the first wolf. From the sounds on the recording it can be heard that together they quickly finished the business. A wolf is a very skilled and precise hunter. It does not mutilate its prey just for the sake of it. The screams that were recorded could be the only ones that were heard at all. The pup did not have to endure pain for long.
Since the first pup had a small advance in fleeing it may be that it got away that night.
During the week the sett was visited several times by wild boar. At the end of the video a fox found reason to visit the sett too.