From the archive, originally posted by: [ spectre ]

India uses ‘mooing’ ringtones to catch leopards  /  June 5, 2007

Story Highlights· Animal ringtones used to trap leopards in western
· Ringtones: Cows mooing, goats bleating and roosters crowing
· Leopards in India often roam into villages in search of food
· Five leopards have been trapped using the ringtone method

AHMEDABAD, India (Reuters) — Forest guards in western India are using
cell phones with ringtones of cows mooing, goats bleating and roosters
crowing to attract leopards that have wandered into human settlements,
officials said on Monday.

The wild cats in the state of Gujarat often roam into villages near
forests in search of food, say officials, adding that this results in
attacks on people.

But rather than use methods such as live bait like goats tied to trees
to lure the leopards, which then fall into large pits dug by guards,
officials say they have found a safer method to trap the cats.

“The moos of a cow, bleating of a goat from the phone has proved
effective to trap leopards,” said D. Vasani, a senior forest official
in Gujarat. “This trick works.”

Vasani said forest guards have downloaded the sounds of over a dozen
animals as ringtones on their mobiles which they attach to speakers
and fix behind a cage.

They then play the ringtone continuously for up to two hours until the
curious leopard appears and moves into the cage looking for its easy

Five leopards have so far been lured from villages since the new
ringtone method was introduced a month ago. The cats have all been
released back into forest areas.

Wildlife activists welcomed the new initiative saying that previous
methods of trapping the cats using pits often resulted in the animals
getting injured.

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