Huffington Post David Moye First Posted: 07/16/12 06:05 PM ET Updated: 07/17/12 01:47 PM ET
When South African sheepherder Erard Louw had 27 sheep and 13 lambs stolen in a matter of days, it really got his goat.
His farm near Durbanville is too far away for police to quickly respond if he reports a possible sheep rustling, NDTV.com reported.
Even when he does call, the cops lacked an available squad car -- or the vehicles were either out of fuel or missing tires.
Now, instead of calling police whenever there's trouble, he has the sheep call him -- via their own personal cellphones.
The cellphones are attached to the collars of four sheep in separate flocks and are set to switch on as soon as they are on the lam.
"As they run, it gives me a phone call and says 'sheep one' or 'sheep two' and so on, so at least I know where to start looking because the farm is [1850 acres]," he told IOL.co.za.
"The phone did start ringing that night and I went out. I checked all the fences -- because [the thieves] normally cut the fences -- and [the sheep] were all okay and the gates were closed. But the phone kept ringing, so I knew they were running. Then I found a new place where they had cut the fence."
Sheep snatching has been a big problem in South Africa and has forced some farmers to leave the industry, TheHinduBusinessLine.com reported.
Luckily for Louw, the sheep cellphones have led to at least one arrest.
No word on whether the sheep will cause him to pay overage charges from sending too many text messages or too many games of Angry Birds.