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Sheep could text for help if attacked

Aug. 6, 2012 at 5:56 PM   |   Comments

ZURICH, Switzerland, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- Swiss researchers say they're developing a system that will let sheep alert their shepherds if they're attacked by wolves -- by sending a text message.

The system is centered on the use of a collar that contains a heart monitor that registers when the sheep become frightened and a text message, or SMS, transmitter, researcher Jean-Marc Landry said.

The system has reportedly been tested on a small group of sheep that were placed in an enclosure with two wolf/dog hybrids -- which were muzzled.

The change in the sheep's heart rate was enough to distinguish when the animals felt under threat, rising from 60-80 beats per minute up to 225 when the wolf/dogs were allowed to approach, researchers said.

"This is the first time such a device has been tested in the field," Landry said.

The researchers said they hope to release a prototype later this year and test it more thoroughly in France, Switzerland and Norway, TG Daily reported.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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