A Japanese city is using these motion-sensing robot wolves to scare bears away

Robot wolf.JPG
One of Takikawa's robot wolves. Kyodo/via REUTERS
  • Japan has seen an unusually high number of bear attacks this year.

  • In response, the town of Takikawa has drafted two robotic wolves.

  • The machines, called "Monster Wolf," are equipped with motion sensors and lights.

  • If the robot's motion sensors are tripped, it moves around, flashes its lights, and makes loud howling noises meant to scare bears away.

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A recent spate of bear attacks in Japan has prompted one city to invest in an unusual scare tactic: robotic wolves.

The city of Takikawa in northern Japan, population 41,000, purchased two of the animatronic wolves — called the "Monster Wolf" — in September after bears were found entering the city, Reuters reports.

The Monster Wolf is mounted on a stationary pole and comes equipped with motion sensors.

When those sensors are triggered it swivels its head, flashes lights in its eyes and on its tail, and emits a variety of sounds, including wolf-like howls and the clanking of machinery.

Japan has experienced an unusually high number of black-bear attacks this year. Local media attributes this to an acorn shortage that has driven the bears to seek food in more populated areas.

Real wolves have been extinct in Japan for more than 100 years.

The Monster Wolf may not be the most sophisticated bit of tech, but Takikawa city officials said there had been no incidents of bears wandering into town since the wolves were installed.

Takikawa doesn't appear to be the only customer either — Reuters reports the manufacturer Ohta Seiki has sold 70 units of the Monster Wolf over the past two years.

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