Elementary school trail camera stolen, Alamance Co. community steps up

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MEBANE, N.C. – A research project at an Alamance County Elementary School was put on hold this week when a key piece of equipment was stolen.

EM Yoder Elementary is one of three Alamance County schools participating in the eMammal project. The school installed a trail camera last month in the woods behind the building. The camera takes pictures of any animal that passes in front of it.

This week teachers discovered the camera had been stolen.

"We went out, and it was just gone, so we had looked, kind of scoured the area to make sure we were looking for the right tree and we had found there was actually some divots into the tree," said Jennifer Keefe, the 2nd grade teacher at EM Yoder.

The eMammal Project uses trail cameras all over the world to track animals in their natural habitats. The kids were going to compare animals seen with their camera to other schools around the world.

"We were really looking forward to that global connection and so we were pretty disappointed to find out that it was gone," Keefe said.

Keefe posted about the theft on social media and within minutes had tons of responses offering help and even some personal trail cameras.

Rick Smith at First Savings and Loan Association in Mebane was one of the people to reach out to Keefe.

"I don't know exactly how much it's going to cost, but I'd be happy to take care of that to make sure it's replaced," Smith said.