Richard Turere

Lights vs. Lions: A Young Boy’s Invention to Save His Father’s Cattle

Richard Turere


While at first only trying to protect his father’s cattle from hungry lions, this 13-year-old invented a simple solution now used all over Kenya. By installing “moving lights” around his livestock, he saved both the cattle, as well as the lions that faced retaliation attacks from local farmers. This solution earned him the opportunity to speak at the TED Conference in California.

FROM Grist

In the video below, 13-year-old Richard Turere says quite explicitly that lions are his enemy. So why did he invent a simple LED-based invention that will help protect struggling lion populations? Well, because the LEDs keep the big cats from eating cows belonging to Richard’s family and neighbors in Nairobi National Park, which means fewer lions have to be killed to protect local livelihoods. Cows benefit, people benefit, and lions benefit too

Lions are too smart to be scared off by scarecrows “” Richard tried that, but the lions noticed that the figures weren’t moving and they ate the cows anyway. All lions fear, says Richard, is motion. So he hooked some LED lights up to old car parts “” a battery and the thing that drives the turn signal “” and arranged them around the area he wanted the lions to leave alone. Now the lights blink on and off, as if someone were walking around the cowshed with a flashlight…Continue Reading


kristin kowlackyAbout the Curator

Kristin Kownacky is a junior at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida, where she is currently working towards a BA in journalism and international studies. It is her dream to travel the world, discovering hidden treasures and writing about each experience. Read her articles on her personal blog, Depart We Now.


Photo via TED Blog

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