The Associated Press – SANTA CLARA, Calif.
(AP) Zoo workers are using their own special gear to rescue distressed and dying animals, and they say it’s not just for the sake of science.
The animals are being rescued to save their own lives.
Zoo officials are using a robot called an inflatable elephant rescue robot that can be used for more than 100 hours a day to save elephants who have fallen into a pool of water, drowning.
A total of 10 elephants have died since the robot was developed in 2013, according to the Los Angeles Zoo.
The Los Angeles Times reports the robots are more than a year old and have been tested on other animals.
It says one of the robots has been successfully trained to rescue a man who had fallen into the water at the zoo, and that another recently rescued a cat who had jumped into a lake.
Agency spokeswoman Karen Davis told the Associated Press the goal is to save as many animals as possible.
Davis said the robots will be able to rescue the animals from pools, pools of water and any other situations they may encounter.
She says the robots can be trained to move in a straight line or curve to avoid obstacles.
Davis said the agency plans to test the robots in California’s Central Valley and other areas in the future.