13 Year Old Boy's Invention Solves Key African Agricultural Problem
Richard Turere's Lion Light system is made out of LED bulbs and a car battery to prevent lions from eating livestock.
The Nairobi National Park lays four miles south of Kenya's capital city, with just one fence keeping wild animals away from humans. This makes for a lot of human-animal conflict, especially between lions and cattle farmers. Richard Turere, 13, was raised to see lions as the enemy because they killed his family's main source of income, their cows. So when he was 11, Turere came up with a solution to save his cows, and unintentionally save the lions.
Turere tried to figure out what lions were afraid of. He realized that lions seemed to stay away when people would patrol the grounds with a flashlight, ‘they are afraid of movement,' he says. So he sought to replicate the movement of a person holding a flashlight. Taking a motorcycle indicator, some LED bulbs and an old car battery powered by a solar panel, Turere set up a system of lights, facing outward into the darkness of the park. The lights, now known as Lion Lights, flicker on and off intermittently throughout the night.