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Crying wolf by text message

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The Guardian (U.K.) reports that sheep could soon cry wolf via text message. A Swiss scientist is developing a special collar to detect when a sheep’s heart rate rises. If it remains elevated for a long time, a sign of distress, a text message warning could be triggered and sent by a mobile chip embedded in the collar.

Tests on sheep subjected to stress from exposing them to muzzled Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs showed their pulses almost triple from the normal rate of between60 and 80 beats per minute.

Dr. Jean-Mark Landry of the Swiss livestock-protection group Kora said the first collars would be produced this fall and that instead of contacting shepherds, alternative versions might spray a wolf-repellent chemical or make a loud noise. Trials of the completed system are planned next year.

The trials follow increased livestock losses following a comebackof wolves in the Swiss Alps.

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