In a bid to keep them safe from lions, scientists in Africa are drawing eyes on the rear ends of cows.
I never realized that lion-on-cattle crime was such a BFD in Africa, but apparently, it is. The African lion is an endangered species, and on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, with their numbers somewhere between 23,000 and 39,000 with rapid declines in recent years. In a bid to bolster those numbers, scientists are painting eyes on the butts of cattle to protect them from lions attacks. It may seem like scientists are trying to protect cows from lions in this scenario, but they are actually trying to protect lions from the human retaliation that occurs in such attacks.
Dr. Neil Jordan, a conservation biologist came up with this non-lethal way to protect the lions based on the idea that most predators will turn away from their prey if they have been spotted. The tactic works with butterflies, whose wing patterns were made to look like eyes to ward off birds.
READ MORE: The Gay Lions of Botswana
The project is called ‘icow’, and Jordan is currently crowd-funding to raise the money to add GPS to his cattle and do some proper studies on if this low-cost technique works. In preliminary studies, the method seems to work pretty well.
Say what you will about this, but I wonder if there are other applications that might be useful in America. For instance, maybe girls should paint eyes on their butts to keep from getting catcalled at construction sites. The possibilities are really endless, right?
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