Wherein a horny leopard tries to seduce her own image. Or maybe she’s just practising.
“French photographers Anne-Marie, Xavier HUBERT-BRIERRE and their friend Michel GUISS DJOMOU installed six large mirrors (1,2 m x 2,5 m) in the Gabonese jungle near Nyonié. In order to film the reaction of wild animals from different angles as they encounter their reflection, the group also installed cameras equipped with motion detectors in front of each mirror. Just as in humans, self recognition in mammals in not an innate ability. The ability to recognise one’s own reflection is the result of a training process that little by little allows the human, and some rare mammals or primate to understand the mirror’s properties.”
Trail side cameras operated by motion detectors have become quite the tool for ecologists, naturalists, animal behaviorists and generally nosey humans. Add mirrors to the equation and you create quite the interesting set-up. This group has recorded interactions between mirrors and leopards, chimpanzees, gorillas, elephants, palm nut vultures and others. It’s endlessly fascinating. You can find a great many more videos at their YouTube channel.