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The robo-deer hunter (and friends)

A deer standing on a grassy plain

Have you herd the one about the robot deer?

In America even when the official deer hunting season comes to an end, poachers still take illegal potshots. The local law enforcement rangers patrol, but can’t be everywhere, so they came up with a clever robotic solution, the robo-deer. This full-size remote controlled robot looks exactly like a white-tailed deer. The body is made of moulded fibreglass and is covered in genuine hide either donated or obtained from illegal kills. Clever computers inside allow its head, ears and tail to move in a realistic way, under control of the ranger hidden in the distant bushes. The robot decoys even have special reflective eyes that react to light at night in the same way as the real animals’ eyes should.

To catch the unscrupulous poachers, the robo-deer is set up at the side of the road, and the police watch as drivers pass. If one of them foolishly takes a shot at the devious decoy deer they are arrested, and could find themselves facing a one year jail sentence.

Sneaky road side robots

The robot deer is just one of an arsenal of robot animals that the law enforcers use to trap poachers. Beware too the robot turkeys, moose and black bears, which are all animals that now have their own robot protectors.

This use of robot decoys is helping to turn the tables on the poachers, and that is sorely needed – it’s been estimated that for every animal that is killed legally during the hunting season, another animal is killed due to poaching.

These sneaky roadside robots are standing up for conservation and putting themselves in the firing line. Let’s hear it for these hardy, hairy heroes of our time.