Painting Eyes on Cows' Rumps Deter Predators

Painting Eyes on Cows' Rumps Deter Predators

In the last week or so, I've seen news stories from Africa about some research with cattle herds and lions that I want to share. According to the articles, Australia's University of New South Wales conservation biologist Dr. Neil Jordan has created what he is calling iCow strategy to deter African lions from attacking domesticated cattle herds in Botswana.

The idea behind iCow is provide a low budget, non-lethal way of stopping lion attacks —- painting rather angry-looking eyes on either side of a cow's tail. For the lions, the eyes on a cow's behind make them think they've been spotted and they then give up the chase.

Simliar to the eye patterns on butterflies' wings to trick predatory birds, these eyes on the cows deeriere trick the lions into thinking they've been seen.

I've reported on many of the livestock losses to wolves throughout the West. What if something so simple might help? Not sure if there are any ranchers, out there willing to take the time to paint angry eyes on their cattle's rumps — but if it even deterred one attack ... it might be worth it.

Now I know that wolves aren't necessary ambush hunters like lions, but it be amazing, if it worked.

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