Young inventor Richard Turere invented "lion lights," an elegant way to protect his family's cattle from lion attacks.

Why you should listen

Richard Turere is a young Maasai man who lives in the wilderness of the Kenya savanna, on the edge of a national park full of rhino, giraffe, buffalo and lions. Since he was 9, Richard has held the honored chore of tending his father's cattle; in his free time, he tinkered with electrical gadgets. After dismantling the few household appliances, Richard taught himself how to fix them, and then he started inventing. He fit his parents' home with fans made from car parts and other junkyard components harvested from junkyards, then built other inventions for his neighbors.

Now 13, he is renowned for inventing "lion lights," a fence made of basic pieces (solar charging cells, flashlight parts), which quickly and effectively scares lions away from his father's cattle. Richard's dream is to be an aircraft engineer.

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What others say

“Congratulations to Richard for thinking outside the box, to not only save the cattle but to protect the lions as well.” — Kristin Pedemonti on

Richard Turere’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Richard Turere


4 unexpected lion stories

March 27, 2013

Richard Turere, 13, grew up hating lions. In Nairobi National Park, where he lives, lions roam freely and often targeted his family’s livestock at night. And yet Turere also hated the only solution his community had come up with to stop lion attacks on cows — killing the majestic creatures. “I had to find a […]

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A 12 year old learns to scare lions: Richard Turere at TED2013

February 27, 2013

Richard Turere is 12 years old, and he lives in Kenya, in Nairobi National Park. It’s a park with lots of animals that roam freely, including lions. The lions kill livestock. So he say, “I grew up hating lions.” Turere, who took part in the Global Talent Search last year, tried to solve the problem. […]

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The Spark: Speakers in Session 3 at TED2013

February 26, 2013

An indefinable quality lies at the heart of any successful idea or project … a spark of intuition, genius or insight that acts as the driver of all later action. Our speakers in this session all possess such a spark, from the educator who’s made it his mission to help high-achieving minority students to a […]

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