The Swiss have a problem. Wolves keep picking off members of their flock, but unless they're going to stay with them 24 hours a day, seven days a week what are they going to do? I know, let's equip them with mobile phones so they can text when they're in danger -- genius!
Believe it or not, that's exactly what some Swiss boffins have come up with -- a collar that monitors a sheep's heartbeat and texts its own when it jumps up. Various prototypes were honed using muzzled dogs as a test to successfully scare the sheep into texting, with the final products due to be available in the autumn this year.
Apparently, Dr Landry, who came up with the concept, also has a few other sheep defence ideas up his sleeve. Why quit with just a simple text message? He's thinking you could get the collar to emit a loud noise, or blast a chemical repellent at the wolf. But I say, why stop there?
Why not have some sort of real, gun-based deterrent built into the collar? I'm thinking you could hook-up a dormant drone that's activated when the collar goes off, which can hunt down and shoot the wolf, controlled remotely by the farmer. Or how about a small explosive charge in the collar? The wolf might get one of your sheep, but when its heart stops -- boom goes the sheep, and the wolf. Problem solved. [BBC]
Image credit: Sheep from Shutterstock