What Happens After Dark at TCS


Camera footage of one of the animals reaching for the bait.

Mariana Diez, Discoverer Staff Writer

Picture a grey fox and a tigrillo rounding TCS campus at night, no lights, no students, a rich environment and wildlife is finally free to orbit what is their home.

The past winter break TCS finally got evidence on the myths of the variety of species the Palmas campus  contains, through a developed project consisting of installing two cameras with food traps to get both night and day images of the distinctive species that live in the school’s woods. The traps were set in order to confirm myths and study TCS’ wildlife, and they were conducted by the school’s science teachers Jose Vega (high school) and Juan Sebastian Cardona (7th grade).

Coming up with the Idea

The project sparked out of curiosity after a conversation about wildlife on campus, but resulted in an extraordinary method to generate mindfulness raising awareness about the creatures that live in these sort of environments that the Columbus community must be familiar with.

“Everything started as an independent project between me and Mr. Vega; we wanted to set up some camera traps because we knew that there are some really cool animals in the forest of the school,” Juan Sebastian Cardona, 7th grade science teacher explained. “The idea is also to generate consciousness in the kids because many of you guys have big terrains and big farms and as soon as you see an animal and your first instinct is to kill it,” he later added.


Filming and the discovery process

They personally took on the task to set up two camera traps in different positions, planting tuna first which wasn’t exceptionally viable and later utilizing sardines which caught the animals attention and got numerous creatures on camera.

The cameras were set behind high school in the woods over the fence; this kind of forest is known as a cloud forest. The cameras were set up with the assistance of a specialist and right up until today they are  still rolling.

“We were able to get over 40 videos; we caught different kinds of birds, possums, a grey fox, and a tigrillo,”  Cardona said.  “We also set up and insect trap and the idea is to see what kind of biodiversity of insects live there because the insects species we have here in Colombia are not explored enough,” he added.

Many people on campus and in the community still don´t know about their project, let alone their discoveries. Cardona and Vega have shared the recordings to a few  teachers and students, but that is it. The Discover is rolling out this article before many people have had the chance to find out this exciting news about creatures creeping at Columbus. 

What are the next steps for the project?

They are planning on including individuals from maintenance on account of their insight and in light of the fact that they remain here during the evening.

“Security and maintenance workers have incredibly cool videos of many animals that I haven’t been able to record because they are here at night and are able to see many animals that we are not,” Cardona said. “Definitely they have been here for so long that they have more anecdotal knowledge of the animals that lived here then I do,” he added.

Seventh graders will also be included in this project during 4th quarter when they start their ecosystem unit in science class.

“I’ve taken my students to see where the animals are and we’ve talked about the native forest and type of ecosystem we have here in the school but the students are not included yet in the project,” Cardona said.

“I believe it’s exceptionally cool and I can hardly wait for the fourth quarter to get more into the task. I also think that it is super important for everybody to realize what lives here (in order) to be careful of what they do,” said Daniella Barros, 7th grader said.

Students from other grades were very shocked to see what was found and wanted to know more about it.

“I didn’t know that the school had this type of animals, I’ve seen cats but I never imagined something like this. If you have the videos, I would love to see them,” Manuela Maldonado 11th grade student said.

“It’s extremely fascinating on the grounds that you will never know what sort of creatures you will ever experience and it’s additionally important since we have to figure out how to deal with the environment,” Antonia Santamaria, 7th grade student, said.