Laser scanner captures Billy the African elephant

30 December 2013

Meet Billy the wild African elephant. At 2.4m in height, he is a little smaller than your average African elephant, but he’s become somewhat of a local celebrity to scientists working in Gabon’s Lope National Park.

“He often visits the Park’s research station to gorge on the fruits of surrounding trees,” says Kim Calders of the Laboratory of Geo-Information Science and Remote Sensing at Wageningen University who was carrying out fieldwork when he spotted Billy from a distance and set up his laser scanner to get a picture.

Calders and his colleagues Jose Gonzalez de Tanago Menaca also from Wageningen University and Andrew Burt from University College London were in Lope National Park experimenting with a relatively new remote sensing technology called LiDAR.

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