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Japanese trains could soon bark, snort to scare deer off tracks

By Sam Howard
Japanese trains could soon bark, snort to scare deer off tracks
Researchers at an institute in Tokyo are developing a system to bark and snort at animals from trains to prevent collisions. Photo courtesy Kounosu1/Wikimedia Commons

Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Japanese train researchers have developed new technology they hope will scare animals, specifically deer, away from railroad tracks.

The system will mimic barking sounds from dogs and snorting sounds from deer to prevent train-animal collisions on the tracks. Testing from researchers at Tokyo's Railway Technical Research Institute suggests it may be successful. Its use in early trials correlated with a 45-percent reduction in deer sightings from the train every 100 kilometers, The Asahi Shimbun reported.

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The tests included 3-second blarings of deer snorts and 20-second recordings of dog barks.

Japan set its national record in 2016 for trip suspensions and delays of at least 30 minutes because of animal collisions. There were 613 of those cases that year, 185 more than there were in 2015, The Telegraph reported.

The creators hope for a launch date no later than March 2019.

"We hope to finish it into a system that works in mountainous areas and elsewhere so railroad companies will want to introduce it," an official from the institute told The Asahi Shimbun.

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