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如何让大象和狼离开你的院子 – 译学馆
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How to Keep Elephants and Wolves Out of Your Yard

无论是筑“篱笆”把动物挡在外面还是留在里面 我们人类都不太擅长
Fencing animals in or out isn’t really our forte.
小苍蝇嗡嗡地穿过纱窗飞进来 老鼠能找到墙中极小的裂缝
Tiny flies zoom right through screens meant to keep them out. Mice find itty-bitty cracks in our walls.
平均每年 有五个狡猾的动物逃离了美国动物园
An average of five crafty creatures escape from American zoos each year.
而且实际上wascally wabbits证明 澳大利亚的防兔篱一点用都没有
And wascally wabbits proved that Australia’s rabbit-proof fence… wasn’t.
如果我们从苍蝇 或兔子的视角看这些栅栏 我们就会明白:
If we looked at these fences from a fly’s or rabbit’s perspective, we might have realized
that these barriers weren’t barriers at all. But our human-centric view of the world
让我们难以考虑到其他动物的脚 爪子 翅膀 和外骨骼
makes it hard to put ourselves in another animal’s… shoes, paws, wings, or exoskeleton.
准确来说 充分了解牲畜就是修建防畜篱的关键
And that’s precisely the trick to building a critter-proof fence: knowing the critter
well enough to find a simple way to stop it.
比如 在东非 农夫为了驱赶抢玉米的大象 会利用蜂巢做篱笆
In East Africa, for example, farmers are building beehive fences to keep out crop-raiding elephants.
这些小东西让五吨重的巨兽转身奔逃 跑的比嗡嗡的蜜蜂还快
Nothing, it turns out, makes these five-ton behemoths turn and run faster than a buzzing
没人会喜欢鼻子里有蜜蜂 而大象有最大的鼻子
bee. Nobody likes a bee in their nose – and elephants have the biggest noses.
同样 没人会喜欢鼻子里有尿 特别如果你是一匹狼的话 而尿来自竞争对手
Nobody likes pee in their nose, either – especially when you’re a wolf and it’s pee from a
所以要保证狼远离大口吃草的羊群 爱达荷的科学家
rival pack. So to keep wolves from wolfing down ranchers’ sheep, scientists in Idaho
在这块地界撒上另一个狼群的屎尿 建造生物边界
are sprinkling the ground with pee and poop from other wolf packs, creating biological
这对狼群来说是一个嗅觉信号 告诉他们 这块地有主了
borders whose smelly signal tells wolves that the territory is already taken.
We’ve even figured out how to fence out some invisible invaders, like the virus that
例如20世纪90年代 夏威夷的木瓜树因病毒而大批受损 科学家先调整了一些木瓜树的基因
was decimating Hawaiian papaya crops in the 1990s. Scientists first genetically modified
令他们对这种病毒免疫 这些抗病木瓜树
some papaya plants so they were immune to the virus. These disease-resistant papaya
当作活的篱笆 围着没有经过基因调整的木瓜树种了一圈
were then planted as a live fence around the non-genetically modified papaya, keeping the
fruit virus- (and controversy)- free.
生物篱笆的美妙之处在于 它们针对特定的物种
The beauty of these biologically-inspired fences is that they target a specific species
而不会限制生态系统中 其他动植物的进出
without restricting the comings and goings of other plants and animals in the ecosystem
这都有赖于知道目标的生物氪星石(克星)是什么 也许这就是为什么他们会说:
– it’s all about knowing your target’s biological kryptonite. Maybe that’s why they say: knowledge
is the best defense!