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These wolves are monsters of the robotic kind4 min read

November 18, 2020 3 min read


These wolves are monsters of the robotic kind4 min read

Reading Time: 3 minutes

In the Japanese town of Takikawa, bear attacks used to be an actual source of fear. These bears would wander into town looking for food, but rather than visiting the supermarket, they thought it would be easier to just eat some humans. Well, not anymore.

Locate Takikawa on the world Map. Image: Express Informer

Monster Wolves

Meet Ohta Seiki, who makes mechanical beasts known as ‘Monster wolves’ that are now used to scare away bears. Even though they are small, when they are placed in high fields, they are super effective at keeping animals away from the town. Videos have shown deer, bears, and monkeys scramble away as soon as they set their eyes on these Monster Wolves.

An image of the Monster Wolves from 2017. They have been upgraded since then. Image: Smithsonian Museum

Oh! So Monstrous.

They are about two and a half feet tall and four feet long and have fake wolf fur on them. They even bear their teeth and emanate red piercing lasers from their eyes as they screech while turning their heads from one side to another. So, every time an animal comes their way, the wolves’ motion detectors are set off, and lo and behold! The horror show begins.

These robot-wolves are equipped with 60 varieties of screeches so that animals never get used to them. The screech noises include the bark of a dog, the voice of a hunter, and the sound of gunshots. Rumour has it that these screeches can travel for about a kilometer! Yup, forget bears I would run from these physical 3D creatures laser shooting, jaw bearing horrors as well!

A Rather Troubling Issue

There are about 70 of these wolves deployed across Japan, all the way down to the southernmost prefecture, Okinawa. There are two ‘Monster wolves’ deployed in the town of Takikawa. It seems as though this problem of bear visits is only getting worse. Experts say that it is due to the loss of acorns in the forest, growing towns and cities, and shrinking villages. In September, it was reported that people saw bear cubs in the same spot in Takikawa where another adult bear was seen a few days later. Usually, the city only sees one brown bear every few years, but this year, the townspeople have already spotted ten!

Bears roaming the streets of Japan. Image: The Guardian

From Monsters to Local Heroes


However, these wolves were a life-saver for the town and have already prevented some deadly bear attacks. According to Hiroki Condo, a city official, no more bears have shown up since the installation of these robo-wolves!

Even though these gnarly creatures may seem horrific to the animals, they protect the bears that they scare away as well. How do they do that? Well, if the bears come into the city, they can be shot dead. If they attack humans, the likelihood that they will be killed is very high. By preventing them from entering in the first place, they don’t have to be harmed as the townsfolk try to defend themselves. In fact, these monsters finally allow Japan’s bears and humans to peacefully co-exist.

Owliver’s Obscure Observation: Living wolves have been extinct in Japan for more than 100 years.

<< Image: GIPHY

However, we can’t forget that expanding cities and deforestation are what caused these bears to wander into human settlements in the first place. Hopefully, the Japanese government will ensure that these furry creatures get enough food and acorns in the mountains.

With Excerpts From: The New York Times, The Guardian,

Solve this crossword that is based on the article above. Have Fun!