New trap allows boars to be caught by smartphone

Kyodo

Teaming with an experienced hunter, researchers at Kyushu University have come up with a boar trap that can be activated remotely with a smartphone.

Wild boars are to blame for increasingly costly crop damage as their areas of activity expand and the number of hunters drops.

Unlike existing traps, the new cage is equipped with a camera that lets users see what they’ve captured before closing the gate with the smartphone.

The four-year project was conducted by Atsushi Marui, 36, associate professor at Hirosaki University in Aomori, who was at Kyushu University until March, and Masaaki Murakami, 67, of Nakagawa, Fukuoka Prefecture, who has more than 40 years’ experience as a hunter. The inventors have applied for a patent in the name of Kyushu University’s research team and Murakami.

When an animal passes through the gate a sensor detects its presence and sends an e-mail notification to the smartphone. Users can close the gate remotely after confirming a wild boar has been captured by checking live footage from the camera in the trap.

The 2-meter-long by 1.5-meter-high box traps are constructed of iron rods.

They will go on sale at limited stores in Fukuoka around spring 2014. The inventors are considering modifying the size of the trap for capturing other wild animals.

According to the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry, wild animals such as boars have caused over ¥20 billion in damage every year since 2009. Experts say this is mainly due to the expanding areas of wild boar activity and the shrinking number of licensed hunters.

“(This method) may also help us change the current situation, where everyone relies on hunters,” commented Marui.