Personal drones have revolutionized wildlife surveillance and management, but for one angry ram, pestering treatment from a quadcopter spurred it to headbutt the offending technology to the ground, before giving the same treatment to the operator.
YouTube user Buddhanz1 posted the video of the drone’s encounter with the ram online, explaining that he was searching for the animal, which he nicknamed “Rambro.” The drone approached the ram closely, before the animal struck out, headbutting the quadcopter and sending it spinning awry. The video picks up once more when the owner approached the ram to retrieve the drone, and moments later, the angry animal chased him out of its territory.
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Lest anyone think the encounter qualifies as abuse, Buddhanz1 asserts that he actually takes care of the animal.
“The ram was not injured at all, they are built to withstand enormous impacts on the noggin, taking down a little 1kg quadcopter is nothing to him. I actually look after this guy, I rescued him after his previous owner was going to kill him for being too aggressive.”
As Motherboard points out, drone technology is rapidly changing the way in which animals are studied. Miniaturized quadcopters are currently in use for applications as varied as combating poachers in Africa, or tracking whales off the coast of California. Yet the temptation exists for operators to go too far:
“Drones let us get close to animals. But then, it’s the allure of getting closer, ever closer to wildlife that can tempt a drone operator over the line. Suddenly, observation looks more like harassment. Can you blame Angry Ram for, well, being a ram and charging YouTube user Buddhanz1’s quadcopter?”
The ram is hardly the first animal to act out against encroaching technology. As the Inquisitr previously noted, an autonomous undersea vehicle (essentially another type of drone) rigged to follow and film great white sharks was spectacularly and repeatedly attacked in the Gulf of Mexico when the predators grew tired of its intrusions.
As Slate observes, “the video sends a pretty clear message about what can happen when animals encounter drones. Using quadcopters to observe animals from afar is one thing, but there’s no need to pester them.” Buddhanz1 has previously uploaded similar videos, so it may only be a matter of time before the “angry ram” experiences another run-in with a drone.
[Image via New York Daily News]