Tiger poo repels Australia's pests: scientist

Mar 09, 2011
Tiger poo is an effective new weapon in warding off animal pests, scientists said Wednesday, after years of experimenting with big cats' faeces collected from Australian zoos.

Tiger poo is an effective new weapon in warding off animal pests, scientists said Wednesday, after years of experimenting with big cats' faeces collected from Australian zoos.

A team from the University of Queensland made the discovery as they researched non-lethal ways to keep herbivores, such as goats and , away from certain plants, Associate Professor Peter Murray said.

While such repellents are typically based on offensive smells like rotten eggs, blood or bone, using tiger poo came from the idea that "if you can smell a predator nearby you would probably want to go somewhere else," he said.

Murray and his team, who have worked on the project for eight years, conducted tests on goats in a small paddock, placing the faeces taken from local zoos near a feeding trough and monitoring events with a video camera.

They found big cats' faeces a more effective deterrent than those of other predators.

"The goats really didn't like it. They wouldn't go near the trough," Murray told AFP. He said old goat carcasses also proved effective in warding off goats, but the smell was so bad that it made the scientists feel sick.

The researchers also found that the faeces worked best as a deterrent when the tiger had been fed the animal being targeted.

"There's not only a in the faeces that says 'Hooly dooley, this is a dangerous animal', it's 'Hooly dooley, this is a dangerous animal that's been eating my friends'," Murray explained.

The scientist said a number of species showed similar reactions to the faeces, and he believed that with more funding a synthetic poo smell could be developed and potentially turned into a commercial product.

Explore further: Rare new species of plant: Stachys caroliniana

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Paw prints and feces offer new hope for saving tigers

Nov 19, 2010

As experts gather in St Petersburg, Russia for next week's Tiger Summit, fewer than 3,200 tigers survive in the wild worldwide. More than half live in India, where they are spread over a vast area (100,000 ...

Giant bird feces records pre-human New Zealand

Jan 12, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- A treasure trove of information about pre-human New Zealand has been found in faeces from giant extinct birds, buried beneath the floor of caves and rock shelters for thousands of years.

Recommended for you

Rare new species of plant: Stachys caroliniana

Nov 21, 2014

The exclusive club of explorers who have discovered a rare new species of life isn't restricted to globetrotters traveling to remote locations like the Amazon rainforests, Madagascar or the woodlands of the ...

Mysterious glowworm found in Peruvian rainforest

Nov 21, 2014

(Phys.org) —Wildlife photographer Jeff Cremer has discovered what appears to be a new type of bioluminescent larvae. He told members of the press recently that he was walking near a camp in the Peruvian ...

The unknown crocodiles

Nov 21, 2014

Just a few years ago, crocodilians – crocodiles, alligators and their less-known relatives – were mostly thought of as slow, lazy, and outright stupid animals. You may have thought something like that ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.