It’s gonna be hated…
But is really, really needed!
Robotic killers that detect feral cats, spray their fur with poison and rely on them to essentially lick themselves to death have been deployed in the Australian desert for the first time.
Feral cats are one of the biggest threats to many of Australia’s endangered species, killing millions of animals every day throughout the country – and controlling them has proved difficult.
It took John Read, an ecologist seven years to invent and produce four of the “grooming traps”. After extensive testing, he has switched on the first one in a nature reserve in south-west Queensland.
“Cats are hard-wired to hunt,” Read said. That means they can kill dozens of animals a night but it also means they are often reluctant to eat baits since they prefer to kill an animal themselves.
“This trap targets the cats’ achilles heel,” Read said. Being fastidious groomers, cats will lick off almost anything that gets on their fur. So Read has developed a trap that exploits their tendency to try to get their numbers under control.
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