Researchers from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) are developing a new technology to help reduce human-animal conflicts in countries where animals roam free. Over 30,000 selfies of the animals are being used in the conservation project to save endangered elephants.
The zookeepers have collected a database of thermal images which are used to program cameras to recognise what the animal looks like from their heat signatures, even in the dark. The camera will then detect whenever an elephant is close by and sends out an alert.
This will help reduce the human-elephant conflicts in countries like Africa and Asia where these animals roam free, in turn ending the menace of trashed crops, damaged property and the loss of lives.
India alone reported 400 annual deaths of people and 100 elephant deaths due to conflicts arising when elephants damage crops or homes, reported BBC.
However, the question of the affordability of this new technology remains unanswered.
ZSL also warns that conservation efforts like these are put at threat by the funding crisis affecting UK zoos.
Speaking to BBC, a spokesperson of ZSL said, "In 2020, ZSL lost £20m of income due to the closures of London and Whipsnade Zoos, and the strictly limited visitor capacities when they were open."
Last month, Chester Zoo announced that it was putting some conservation work in Africa and Asia on hold because of the impact of COVID-19 on its finances.