To scare scavengers away from his crops, a farmer in India took a left-field approach by painting his pet dog to make it resemble a tiger.
Srikanth Gowda, from a village in Thirthahalli named Nallur, needed to keep animals away from his coffee crop. He said he initially attempted positioning soft toy tigers in his fields to scare off bothersome monkeys, and this appeared to do the trick; but, it was short lived. So, Gowda slapped some dark hair dye onto his Labrador (Bulbul) and turned his faithful dog into a improvised tiger and dispatched him out into the fields.
Wondrously, the foolery seemed to work. Gowda told local reporters: “Earlier I used to bring soft toys from Goa and place them in my fields to scare away the monkeys. But in the long run, the color of the toy used to fade and the monkeys would return to damaging the crop. I now take Bulbul to the fields twice a day – in the morning and evening. I have seen them running away at the sight of the dog. The monkeys now refrain from entering my plantations.”
Gowda’s daughter alleges that other villagers are now copying her father’s concept, noting: “It was my father’s idea to scare monkeys away. Earlier, monkeys used to destroy all our crops. Everyone in our village is replicating his idea.” While Gowda’s creativity and ingenuity are praiseworthy, many persons advise against placing dye on animal fur. The RSPCA website says that dyeing the fur of animals can be ‘frightening’ and ‘confusing’ for pets.
“They don’t understand what’s happening to them, or why, and some animals may find this distressing,” states the website. “People may think they’re treating their pets by painting their claws or dying their fur, but some of the paints, dyes, inks and glues used are toxic and harmful to animals. Even if a dye is marketed as ‘pet friendly’, we’d strongly advise against using any, as the product may cause irritation and lead to over-grooming.”
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