• In Botswana, cattle are left to graze and roam during the day, but that makes them vulnerable to attacks by lions, leopards and other carnivores, so two conservation biologists from the University of New South Wales in Australia have come up with an idea to allow both cattle and cats to co-exist, NPR reported.
Because big cats hunt using the element of surprise, the biologists came up with a way to make the predators believe they'd been seen by their prey and then abandon the hunt.
"We tested this by painting one-third of a cattle herd with artificial eye spots (on their backsides)," explained Cameron Radford, and over four years, "none of the cows that we painted with artificial eye spots were killed by ambush predators."
Village chiefs and native farmers "look forward to us coming back and painting more eyes on bums," Radford said. [NPR, 8/23/2020]
• Conducting choir practice indoors was out of the question for Mark Potvin, instructor of music at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, given the school's COVID-19 protocols, and finding a space outside posed a challenge until, "I was driving past the city pool," Potvin told KCRG, and "noticed they were draining the pool."
Officials at Decorah Park and Rec gave their blessing, and now choir members rehearse while standing in the empty pool, socially distanced and masked.
Luther College has five choirs and one of the nation's largest collegiate music programs. [KCRG, 9/10/2020]