Japan is famous for its quirky solutions to all problems. Now, a town in Japan has put robot wolves to work. No kidding, the wolves have been deployed in various places to scare off bears. In the countryside, bears have become a dangerous nuisance for people.
Situated on the northern island of Hokkaido, the town of Takikawa recently bought a pair of robots and installed them at hotspots after noticing bears in the streets. The wild animals that are dangerous to humans were seen roaming through neighbourhoods in September. Officials in the city noted that no encounters have been reported since then.
In Japan, bear sightings are currently at a five-year high, mostly in rural areas of north and west Japan, as national broadcaster NHK had reported.
Bears have been involved in over a dozen attacks on human, two of which were fatal. This triggered the government to step-up efforts to tackle the attacks.
The government convened an emergency meeting last month to address the threat of bears.
The ‘Monster Wolf’ robot consists of a body-like shaggy on four legs, a blond mane and glowing-red eyes.
Once its motion detectors are activated, it moves its head, flashes different lights, and emits 60 different types of sounds that resemble wolfish howling. Since 2018, machinery maker Ohta Seiki has sold about 70 units of the robot.
The robot is based on Japanese wolves that roamed central and northern islands of Japan before they were hunted to extinction more than a century ago.
According to Takikawa city officials, bears become more active and dangerous while searching for food before they go into hibernation in late November.