Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Lion lights: Masai boy scares off lions with flashy invention...

Richard Turere, 13, doesn't like lions. In fact, he hates them. Yet this bright Maasai boy has devised an innovative solution that's helping the survival of these magnificent beasts -- by keeping them away from humans.

Living on the edge of Nairobi National Park, in Kenya, Turere first became responsible for herding and safeguarding his family's cattle when he was just nine. But often, his valuable livestock would be raided by the lions roaming the park's sweet savannah grasses, leaving him to count the losses.

"I grew up hating lions very much," says Turere, who is from Kitengela, just south of the capital Nairobi. "They used to come at night and feed on our cattle when we were sleeping."


He fitted a series of flashing LED bulbs onto poles around the livestock enclosure, facing outward. The lights were wired to a box with switches and to an old car battery powered by a solar panel. They were designed to flicker on and off intermittently, thus tricking the lions into believing that someone was moving around carrying a flashlight. Full story...

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