Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Donkeys protect German sheep from #wolves

German farmers have come up with a novel way to stop wolves attacking their sheep. They are using donkeys to stand guard and scare off the predators.

31 Mar 2015 

A farmer in Germany is planning to use donkeys to protect his sheep from wolf attacks. "Unlike the sheep, the donkey has no flight behaviour. It faces the predator and attempts to drive it away, first with noise and then with kicks," Tino Barth from Twistringen in Lower Saxony told dpa.

Barth has recently bought three donkeys to protect his 200 sheep. He says the donkeys can protect sheep from attacks by wolves, dogs or lynxes. "The screeches that a donkey in danger makes are frightening," he says.

The animals are integrated with the sheep and help to keep the flock together, preventing the running away that further incites the wolves to attack. Many German sheep farmers have already bought donkeys to protect their flocks.

The growing number of wolves in Germany is a problem for farmers with estimates there are around 200 animals in 25 packs. The numbers have almost doubled in the last two years. Young males in particular roam widely and prey on sheep.