Wednesday, 30 September 2020 13:59

Eyes have it

Written by  Milking It

OPINION: Painting eyes on the backsides of cows could save their lives, according to new research by Australian scientists.

But don’t expect any New Zealand cows to be changing their appearance any time soon. The move is designed to protect the stock from predators like lions and leopards. Not many of them roaming the backblocks of NZ.

Researchers from NSW University worked with farmers in the Okavango Delta region of Botswana to paint cattle in 14 herds that had recently suffered lion attacks.

They painted one-third of each herd with an artificial eyespot design on the rump, one-third with simple cross-marks and left the rest of the herd unmarked.

They found that cattle painted with fake eyes were significantly more likely to survive than unpainted or cross-painted control cattle within the same herd during the four-year study.

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