Wildlife Selfies (package only)

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See how “wildlife selfies” are being captured at the Cave Creek Regional Park, which sits on nearly 3,000 acres on the border of Cave Creek and Phoenix.

TED SIMONS: CAVE CREEK REGIONAL PARK SITS ON NEARLY 3,000 ACRES AT THE BORDER OF CAVE CREEK AND PHOENIX. THE PARK IS A SERENE AND PEACEFUL HOME FOR ALL WILDLIFE. BUT FOR MOST VISITORS GETTING SEE THAT WILDLIFE, IT'S NOT ALWAYS SO EASY. PRODUCER SHOSHANA FISHER AND PHOTOGRAPHER ROB MCJANNET INTRODUCE US TO A RANGER THAT HAS CAPTURED SOME REMARKABLE WILDLIFE SELFIES.

SHOSHANA FISHER: EVERYDAY YOU'LL FIND RANGER MARK PAULAT WALKING THE BEAT, IN THIS CASE HIS BEAT IS CAVE CREEK REGIONAL PARK.

MARK PAULAT: HOW YA DOING OLD MAN? NECK RUB?

SHOSHANA FISHER: INTERPRETIVE RANGER, MARK PAULAT OVERSEES PROGRAMS THAT TEACH NATURE AND WILDLIFE. PAULET ALSO TAKES CARE OF THE RESIDENT TORTOISE, PICKALO.

MARK PAULAT: SONORAN DESERT TORTOISE, HE'S A LONG-TERM CAPTIVE NON-RELEASABLE. SO WE USE HIM AS AN ANIMAL AMBASSADOR AND HE'S PRETTY FRIENDLY. LOTS OF PERSONALITY.

SHOSHANA FISHER: PAULAT AND PICKALO, HAVE A LONG STANDING RELATIONSHIP. BACK IN 2009, BEFORE PAULAT WAS ASSIGNED TO THIS PARK HIS SON'S EAGLE SCOUT PROJECT WAS TO CREATE THIS WATERING HOLE FOR PICKALO.

MARK PAULAT: ORIGINALLY, AFTER CONSTRUCTING THE WATER HOLD FOR THE TORTOISE, WE NOTICED THAT THE WATER LEVELS WERE DROPPING SIGNIFICANTLY FASTER THAN HE COULD DRINK THEM.

SHOSHANA FISHER: SOON PAULAT HAD A BIT OF A MYSTERY ON HIS HANDS.

MARK PAULAT: SO WE FIGURED BASED ON THAT AND SOME OF THE TRACKS AND OTHER SIGNS IN THE AREA, THAT THERE WERE PROBABLY SOME OTHER ANIMALS IN THERE. AND TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE FREE WATER SOURCE. INSERT THE NEW BATTERIES.

SHOSHANA FISHER: PAULAT SET UP A CAMERA IN THE CORNER OF THE WATERING HOLE. TO SEE WHO WAS COMING TO DINNER.

MARK PAULAT: IT SCREWS ON.

SHOSHANA FISHER: AND HE WAS SURPRISED AT JUST HOW MANY GUESTS THERE WERE. EVERY WEEK OR SO. PAULAT REVIEWS THE VIDEOS.

MARK PAULAT: TO SEE WHOSE BEEN VISITING.

SHOSHANA FISHER: AS MANY AS 200 CLIPS. THE CAMERA HAS A MOTION SENSOR SO THAT IT KICKS ON WHENEVER THERE IS MOVEMENT.

MARK PAULAT: JUST REVIEWING FROM THE LAST FEW DAYS I WAS OFF TO SEE WHOSE BEEN VISITING AND SO FORTH.

SHOSHANA FISHER: CLIP AFTER CLIP, YOU CAN SEE GREAT HORNED OWLS.

MARK PAULAT: THERE'S THE QUEEN.

SHOSHANA FISHER: COYOTES

MARK PAULAT: INTERESTING HOW SKITTISH THE COYOTES ARE.

SHOSHANA FISHER: JAVELINAS, A GREY FOX AND BIRDS.

MARK PAULAT: DOVES AND A HOUSE FINCH IN THIS ONE. YOU DO SEE A LOT OF THE SAME ANIMALS REPEATEDLY. THEY'RE FAIRLY TERRITORIAL AND CREATURES OF HABIT, AND SO THEY COME AROUND PRETTY MUCH THE SAME TIME EVERY DAY. AND WE CAN RECOGNIZE CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS BASED ON THEIR BEHAVIORS OR SOME OF THEM HAVE SCARS OR WOUNDS. DIFFERENT COLORATIONS AND PATTERNS DEPENDING ON WHAT THEY ARE.

SHOSHANA FISHER: THE PARK'S DEPARTMENT CREATED A FACEBOOK PAGE AND POSTED THE VIDEOS FOR THE PUBLIC TO SEE AND IT'S BEEN WILDLY POPULAR.

MARK PAULAT: MOST OF THE FOLKS THAT SEE THESE VIDEOS ARE PRETTY IMPRESSED. THEY DON'T SEEM TO REALIZE THESE THINGS ARE HERE. I GET, YOU KNOW, COMMENTS LIKE ‘OH I'VE BEEN HIKING THERE FOR 10 YEARS AND I'VE NEVER SEEN THAT'.

SHOSHANA FISHER: PAULAT SAYS THE KEY TO SEEING WILDLIFE IN THE PARK, IS TO STOP AND JUST OBSERVE. MOST OF THE TIME THE ANIMALS ARE HIDING IN A BUSH OR JUST HANGING OUT.

MARK PAULAT: WE ARE THE MOST BIO-DIVERSE DESERT IN THE WORLD AND THERE'S JUST SO MUCH TO SEE IF YOU JUST STOP AND TAKE A LOOK.

SHOSHANA FISHER: PAULAT SAYS HE'S ENJOYED SEEING ALL THE DIFFERENT ANIMALS, BUT THE BEST PART SHOWING OFF HIS OFFICE SPACE TO THE PUBLIC.

MARK PAULAT: GETTING TO SHARE MY PASSION FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND FOR THE ANIMALS, WITH FOLKS, YOU KNOW, MAY NOT HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO THIS EVERYDAY. OR THEY COME VISITING FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY OR ANOTHER STATE AND THEY JUST HAVE NO IDEA THAT ALL THESE ANIMALS AND PLANTS EXIST IN THE DESERT.

TED SIMONS: AND IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE MORE OF THE WILDLIFE VIDEOS, HEAD TO CAVE CREEK PARK FACEBOOK PAGE.

Mark Paulat: Interpretive Ranger, Cave Creek Regional Park

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