Medford, OR (AP) – A rancher in Jackson County, Oregon who has had gray wolves eat his livestock is now using a lime-green inflatable dancing man to keep the predators at bay.
Ted Birdseye began using the contraption Saturday in his pasture after the pack killed another calf in the same field where the wolves have already eaten five calves and one guard dog, The Mail Tribune reported Tuesday.
The device is the same as those commonly seen a used car lots and is powered by a generator that blows air into the balloon so it jumps and wiggles in the air.
“He’s all lit up and dancing around in the field,” Birdseye told the newspaper. “He’s lime green. It looks like an alien at night.”
Birdseye said he doesn’t know whether the flailing dancer will be a long-term deterrent to the pack preying on his cattle in the remote field, but the first two nights proved successful.
“Last night was the best sleep I’ve had since September with these animals,” Birdseye said. “A solid eight hours of sleep. There was no howling or barking going on.
“We don’t know if the deterrence was a factor or if it’s a coincidence,” he said.
The air dancer is one of two that arrived Saturday, the day after the latest attack, Birdseye said. They were sent by the Defenders of Wildlife conservation group, but only one generator came with them, so he could deploy only one, he said.
“People need to realize these wolves are majestic creatures, but they’re killers,” Birdseye said. “It’s getting pretty frustrating.”