Who would win in a fight between a robotic wolf and a bear? It seems the former is a good deterrent for the latter after a Japanese town started using these frankly terrifying machines to scare off bears encroaching on residential areas.
According to a report by JAPANkyo, the 24-inch long ‘Monster Wolf’ was created by a company called Ohta Seiki to help farmers deal with bears and other wildlife that damage crops. The town of Takikawa, on the northern island of Hokkaido, purchased and installed two of the robots after bears were found roaming neighborhoods in September, writes The Guardian.
The wolves come complete with four legs (or leg-like appendages), a furry body, and glowing red eyes. They also have in-built infrared motion sensors, which, when they detect something, will trigger one of 40 different sounds from the speakers, including an American Werewolf in London-style howl and machinery noises. The sounds can also be set on a timer.
There were 157 people injured by bears in Japan last year, with dozens more recorded in 2020 so far, two of them fatal, but Takikawa officials say there have been no encounters with the animals since the Monster Wolf machines were installed.
The attacks are thought to be a consequence of acorn shortages in the bear’s natural habitat. Black bears eat the high-calorie nuts to add fat before hibernating during the winter. This dearth has led to them venturing into local towns in search of food.