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Press '1' to catch a cat

Press '1' to catch a cat

By Simon Davies

Speculation about the health risks of mobile phones has been rife for years. Reports from India, however, describe a new and potentially life saving use for the technology.

Villagers in the state of Gujarat have been terrorised by hungry leopards which enter their village hunting for an easy meal. Until recent advances in trapping technology, an innocent goat was used as bait to attract the leopards into a deep pit. This is inevitably dangerous for the leopard, not to mention a nightmare for the goat.

Salvation for leopard, goat and villager comes from an unusual source – a simple mobile phone ring tone.

Many of us, I am sure, have amused ourselves with the animal noises available among the ring-tones on our Nokias and Siemens. Indian leopards, it transpires, can be fooled into thinking that the sound is coming from the real thing. A mobile phone is placed near a cage, the call is made and - a couple of hours of call-waiting later – ta-da, the leopard is trapped.

It is not certain whether a villager came up with this cunning plan, or whether an unfortunate teenager experimenting with his new ring tones found himself face-to-face with a big cat. What is certain is that it works.

But if that works, what could we attract into a cage with other ring tones? If only the Nokia tune would attract all those loud, flashy-suited salesmen led astray by their sat-nav.

On a similar note:
- News - Eau de phone by Motorola
- Spoof - The taxanomy and ecology of the mobile phone
- News - Fat fighting phone
- Straight - Other inventions
Image: Berkeley Robinson

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03 Mar 2009
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