05:45 GMT +327 July 2017
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    German Farmers Excited by This 'Screaming and Spitting' Know-How Against Wolves

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    In recent years, Switzerland has seen frightening growth in the number of wolves that live in the Alps who increasingly kill sheep every year. To counter this tendency, Swiss shepherds have found a very unusual means to protect their herds.

    For instance, a lama named Shakespeare is currently protecting the flock belonging to Swiss citizen Matthieu Müller.

    "People and dogs are scared when Shakespeare gazes at them intently," shepherd Claudine Monard, who works for Müller, told Sputnik Germany.

    In a similar way, lamas are supposed to influence wolves, Monard argued. When something happens, lamas spit and hysterically scream, scaring wolves away.

    "When a sheep is missing, the lama immediately yells. Thanks to this, I pay attention to emerging problems," Monard said.

    Earlier, Swiss shepherds tried to protect their sheep using guard dogs, but the latter perceived not only wolves but also hikers and bicyclists as potential threats and sometimes had even bitten them.

    Snowboarder Rams Into Sheep
    YouTube/Shevchenko Kirill
    Now, when local shepherds use lamas as a means of protection, many seem to be pleased with the decreasing number of incidents involving wolves.

    According to estimates, there are about 30-40 wolves living in the Alps. In 2014, they killed 22 sheep, in 2015 — 322, and last year 397.

    There are currently 3,000 lamas in Switzerland, and 25 farms use these South American animals to protect their flocks.

    Apparently, lamas should gradually get used to their new job, as shepherds from Germany and Austria want to apply this Swiss know-how to their farms.

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    Tags:
    wolves, lama, sheep, farms, protection, Switzerland, Germany
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