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13-year-old Masai boy invents device to help his community live in peace with the lions
Richard Turere's solar-powered invention safely scares lions away from his family's cattle.
Fri, Aug 22, 2014 at 08:00 AM
From the time he was a young boy, Richard Turere was in charge of taking care of his father's cows in their Masai community
. That means protecting those cattle from nightly lion attacks
. It goes without saying that this is no easy task.
Like many in his community, Turere hated lions
because of the financial losses they caused his family and those in his community when the lions went after their cows. He wanted a way to do his job that didn't involve staying up all night by the cow pen. So the 13-year-old created an inexpensive solution to his problem: he watched and waited and experimented and learned — and then he invented. Turere's "lion lights" made it look to the lions as though he was right there by the cattle — effectively scaring them away while the boy was actually safely tucked in his bed. He then shared his invention
with others in his community so that they could protect their cattle too. As the idea spread throughout Kenya, many began to realize that they no longer hated the lions because they weren't losing their livelihoods to them.
As Turere explains in this short but sweet TED talk, it has been two years and the community has not had any problems with lions since Turere installed his lights. That means more money for the people in his community, and it also means that they are finally learning to live in peace with the lions they once hated.
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