The next time a wolf comes calling, flocks of sheep may be able to reach out and call for help
The wolf population of Switzerland is enjoying a resurgence, and that's bad news for shepherds. After all, sheep are notoriously defenseless. Or, at least, the sheep were defenseless until scientists began a trial program in which sheep were outfitted with a special collar that can detect when predators are attacking and can help keep them safe.
When the sheep are attacked by a predator, their rising heart rate is picked up by the special collar. The collar then releases a special wolf repellant, and the shepherd is notified of the wolf's presence by text message.
For now, the entire system is in the prototype stage: Scientists outfitted ten test sheep and exposed them to muzzled wolves to make sure the collars worked. Should further testing prove successful, sheep all across Switzerland and France could be texting their shepherds as soon as next year at the first sign of danger.
[Image credit: Livestock Farm Flock of Sheep via Shutterstock]
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