Japanese towns are using robot wolves with flashing lights to scare away bears that have become a problem in the countryside. The bears come into areas where humans live to look for food.
The “Monster Wolf” is a red-eyed machine with an infrared sensor that can detect bears or other moving animals. The robot, which is programmed with more than 60 different types of sound, will move its head, make noise, and beam flashy lights when it detects animals nearby.
Ohta Seiki, the developer of the robot, has sold more than 70 units since the product hit the market in 2018.
Takikawa city in Hokkaido recently purchased two robot wolves after the area had two cases of bears roaming around in a residential area in September. Since installing the robots, they haven’s seen any bears anymore.
Bear sightings are at a five-year high, mostly in rural areas in western and northern Japan, national broadcaster NHK reported.
A decrease of acorns and nuts in the wild this year may have driven the animals closer to towns in search of food, according to local media.
All over the world, wild animals are coming closer to areas where people live. Humans feel threatened, but so do animals. Their food sources and habitat are being invaded by humans.
The real Japanese wolf roamed the central and northern islands of the country before being hunted to extinction more than a century ago.
In some cities in the United States, bears are killed for invading ‘human’ areas. The robot wolf is an animal-friendly way of scaring bears.