Kenyan Boy’s Invention Scares Off Lions
We all have problems, man. We all have to cross troubled waters sometimes and deal with figuring out where our next meal is coming from. However, I sincerely doubt the majority of us can say, “Oh, we figured out how to scare lions off because they kept eating our food.”
See, that’s straight up awesome. A young man by the name of Richard Turere doesn’t hate lions, but he hated what they kept doing to his family’s livestock. Even when someone was out all night watching the livestock, the lions would still kill the cattle. Every head that died was one less they could sell to market to survive the upcoming year, and that frustrated the crap out of him.
So you know what he did? He didn’t hire a team to watch his cattle. He didn’t beat the lions to death or hurt anyone. He just invented something to scare off the lions during the night so they would stop eating his freaking livestock.
This kid is only 13 and rigged up a lighting system – now dubbed “Lion Lights” – that was so insanely clever that it actually worked. Because Richard is from the Nairobi area, there aren’t a ton of resources at his disposal, so he had to think of an inexpensive system to save his family. The lights are simple: They are connected to a box with switches that control interval and time at which the lights are lit. They are powered by an old car battery that’s attached to a solar panel for charge. The lights are not only on all night, but they flash at random intervals to fool the lions into thinking there is someone coming at them with a flashlight (and probably a gun).
The best part? He was only 9 when he thought up this invention.
“I grew up hating lions very much,” says Richard. “They used to come at night and feed on our cattle when we were sleeping.”
I’d hate those stupid lions a lot, too.
Richard was walking around in the dark one night with a flashlight and discovered that the lions would leap away when they saw the flashlight. It helped him realize that he could use this to his advantage. Using a series of poles and LED lights around the cattle enclosure, he rigged a system, and guess what? His family has not lost any livestock in almost three years.
This kid has had absolutely no training with electronics or engineering. “I did it myself, no one taught me. I just came up with it,” said Richard. “I had to look after my dad’s cows and make sure that they were safe.”
I wish every little son was like this, because then we’d have a world full of people who actually liked their kids.
So little Richard is going to be rewarded not only with safe livestock, but also with a scholarship to one of the most prestigious schools in Africa. He also gets to attend the TED 2013 Conference being held in California this week, where he gets to chill with some seriously famous innovators while he waits to discuss his invention.
I think it’s pretty clear that the sky’s the limit for this kid, especially since he wants to get into aviation when he gets older. That may make some people who think he should be an electrical engineer a little sad, but honestly, this kid’s skills can be used absolutely anywhere for good. He’ll keep working on a problem until he fixes it, even if it takes him awhile, and those kind of people are what the world needs.
So move over, greatest experimenters of our time – there’s a new mind on the scene.
I want more stuff like this!