Leopards lured by ringtones

leopard1.jpgForest 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.

The wild cats in the state of Gujarat often roam into villages near forests in search of food, which can be dangerous for people.

Officials say they have found a safer method to trap the cats. The sounds from the phone have proved effective in luring the leopards away from human settlements. Apparently the trick worked.

Forest guards have downloaded ringtones of over a dozen animal sounds on their cellphones which they attach to speakers that are placed 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 meal.

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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