Scientists in Australia have come up with a way to the prevent death of Lions by painting eyes on cows ‘butts.
Painting eyes on cows’ butt is a technique heavily influenced by the notion that lions hardly attack an animal if they perceive they are being watched by said animal.
This in turn prevents them from getting shot by farmers.
Science Alert reports that the technique is being tested by scientists from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia.
“Lions are ambush hunters, so they creep up on their prey, get close and jump on them unseen,” said Neil Jordan, a conservation biologist from UNSW.
“But in this case, the impala noticed the lion. And when the lion realized it had been spotted, it gave up on the hunt,” he said.
The use of fake eyes on large animals has never been done before and this will no doubt be the first of such experiments.
Farmers usually kill lions as a way of retaliating against the lion killing a livestock, and this is one of the biggest ways by which lions are killed.
By having eyes painted on the livestock’s butt, attack from the lions will reduce, and this will in turn lead to fewer lions being killed in retaliation by farmers.
“As protected conservation areas become smaller, lions are increasingly coming into contact with human populations, which are expanding to the boundaries of these protected areas,” said Jordan.
“If we could find a way to prevent lions from killing livestock in the first place, we will hopefully make farmers more accepting of the predators, and more open to living alongside them peacefully.”
Last year, Jordan and hisbteam made their way to Botswana were they tried the experiment on some cows. None of the eye-painted cows were killed by a lion, but three unpainted cows were unlucky.
He hopes to return to Botswana this month for a three-month test. This time he plans on attaching GPS to both the lions and the cattle to determine the “exposure of painted and unpainted cows to predation risks, and where the conflict hot spots are.”
We are looking forward to this experiment being successful, and something intuitive like this being used to prevent another wildlife nightmare in Africa– poaching.