SYLVANIC

VIDEO 3 ANALYSIS

The plan to shoot video three entails our trio breaking up into two groups. Trevor and Todd would be the first to the video 3 site and Michael would follow up the rear. It was a bit of a gamble-would Jake (the animal you see in video 3) take the most direct path back to the main group, or go by another route? If he did, he would have to pass us by. We made the right choice, as this was exactly what he did. Trevor and Todd repeated virtually the same method to sneak into position as they did to shoot video 2 two days previously. Michael, however, would travel in from the opposite side of the river as far as the terrain would allow to get in behind Jake. See the detailed animated video.

So with our watches synchronized to the second, at 4 PM both teams broke out from hiding. Michael had a camera and a two-way radio. Trevor had the other two-way radio and Todd had the video camera. Communication was to be kept to absolute minimum but was essential. If Michael was to observe Jake moving off in any other direction than planned, Trevor and Todd would once again attempt to film Jane or animals from the main group. If he noted the animal was in fact moving towards our position, he would alert us. If the animal was to retreat from the video 3 site, we would alert Michael.

The first possible video and the least likely was through Michael. Michael was unable to reach the vatange point he had hoped for, but he did hear Jake blast by him approximately 100 yards from his position. He noted the animal was clearly moving in a fashion that was focused on speed rather then stealth. He radioed to Trevor that the animal was moving precisely toward us, but considerably faster than we could have imagined.

Trevor and Todd aborted plan A, which was to have them separate at the video 3 point with the intent of having Trevor herd the animal towards Todd with the camera. The first visual was by Trevor when Todd and Trevor were still about 40 yards out from the video 3 location. The animal then exhibited a behavior that we have never before seen in the species. It stayed still and relied on its camouflage. Fortunately, Trevor had never lost sight of the animal. When Todd and Trevor reached the video 3 site, Trevor knew exactly where the animal was and Todd simply pointed his camera as directed by Trevor. From this point, the rest is on tape. Once the animal pushed through the wall of trees at the end of video 3, not a sound was heard and nothing more was seen.

Beyond all this info, the animal must have run well over 5 km to avoid Michael-through dense bush and up and down mountainous terrain-in the time it took Trevor and Todd to run about 1.5 km along a partial trail that they navigated with relative ease. And he still beat them to the video 3 point! It took Trevor and Todd just over 6 minutes to traverse 1.5 km; the animal did over 5 Km in the same length of time. Mike took just over an hour to run and climb half the distance the animal did. Mike is in very good shape, although by no means an Olympic athlete. For a bipedal animal to move over 20 times faster than a man is mind-boggling. According to our calculations, at the very least we expected to be at the video 3 site a few minutes before the animal's arrival. Instead, it was standing there looking at us.

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