Tiny Creatures Cause Almost $3,000 in Damage to Photographer's Gear

I've seen cameras that have been dropped, dunked, run over, even stolen by large animals, but I can't say I've ever seen this. One photographer learned of a small but impressively potent threat to his gear.

Entomologist Phil Torres and Wildlife Photographer Jeff Cremer set up a camera trap using a Canon 7D Mark II and an infrared sensor in the hopes of catching a jaguar or other animal during the night. However, when they came back in the morning, they found their dry bags missing, their equipment with water damage, and their tripods partially shredded. The culprits? Leafcutter ants. Overnight, the ants chewed through the bags and wires, apparently mistaking them for leaves, and damaged much of the equipment, the rest being destroyed when a rainstorm came through after the protective gear had been chewed away. Torres seemed utterly astounded by the unexpected mishap, and I have to say I would be too. Nonetheless, it's apparent that smaller forms of wildlife are a bigger risk more often than one might suspect; just check out the post from Cremer's Twitter account below:

​Give the video above a watch to hear Torres' take on the ordeal. Have you had any strange or unexpected mishaps with your equipment? Share them in the comments! 

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

Log in or register to post comments

That would make one interesting call to the insurance company if the gear was covered.

i've seen sites reporting this as if the ants ate the camera

The Achilles Heel of their solution (the moats) is that the ants will eat the plastic containers holding the water, which will drain them, and then they will proceed to eat their gear again.

next step, steel moats.