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Jan 17, 2018

Barking train in Japan

Researchers in Japan have fitted a train with a speaker that barks like a dog and snorts like a deer in order to prevent collisions on the railway.

Tokyo's Asahi Shimbun newspaper reports that the combination of sounds is designed to scare deer away from the tracks in a bid to reduce the number of animal deaths on the railway.

Officials from the Railway Technical Research Institute (RTRI) say that a three-second blast of the sound of a deer snorting attracts the animals' attention, and 20 seconds of dog barking is enough to make them take flight.

RTRI researchers say the late-night tests, at times when deer congregate around railway tracks, have resulted in a halving of deer sightings. If proved to be effective, future plans include static barking sites where deer are commonly seen, but "the noises will not be blared in areas where people live beside the tracks".

Deer are attracted to railway lines because of a need for iron in their diets. They lick the rails to pick up iron filings caused by the action of wheels against tracks, it's been found.

(BBC News)

(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by bbc.co.uk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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