Feral cat is caught on camera eating an entire KANGAROO as severe drought conditions force them to change their hunting habits
- Feral cat scavenging for food found the carcass of a 30kg kangaroo in the desert
- The kangaroo was devoured over a number of days by the cat during drought
- PhD student Emma Spencer is studying the environment impact of dead animals
- She said it was unusual for the car to eat the kangaroo because of bird predators
- Ecologist John Read said severity of the drought led to feral animals to scavenge
A feral cat was caught on camera eating an entire kangaroo as dry conditions force them to change their eating habits.
Shocking footage shows the cat scavenging for food before approaching the 30kg carcass at Bush Heritage Australia’s Ethabuka Reserve.
PhD student Emma Spencer from the University of Sydney is studying the environmental impact of dead animals – and was shocked by the video.
A feral cat is seen scavenging on a large 30kg kangaroo at Bush Heritage Australia’s Ethabuka Reserve
The kangaroo could have been attacked by wild dogs, and was used by the feral cat as a meal
PhD student Emma Spencer from the University of Sydney is studying the environmental impact of dead animals
‘We’ve had this one [cat] come in and pretty much take out an entire 30-kilogram kangaroo, eating it all over a number of days,’ Ms Spencer told ABC.
Her initial research found that wedge-tailed eagles were preying on the kangaroos, not feral cats.
‘They did come in [to] a few other carcasses but, in general, in environments like this, what you’ll see is the birds coming in to break down the carcasses.’
Feral cats generally prey on small mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and insects.
University of Adelaide ecologist John Read said the severity of the drought has led to feral animals to scavenge.
He explained that the dry area is ‘biting into their main supply’ of food which sees them resort to eating what they find, such as kangaroos.
‘So the cats that are out there are turning to scavenging, which is not their normal behaviour,’ he told the publication.
She said seeing the cat devour the dead kangaroo (pictured) was a twist in her research
Ms Spencer was also surprised to not see more wild dogs and dingoes feeding off the carcasses of kangaroos (pictured)
Ms Spencer was also surprised to not see more wild dogs and dingoes feeding off the carcasses of kangaroos or camels.
‘We did get them visiting quite a few carcasses, but in general we didn’t actually see them feeding off the carcasses.’
She stated that it could be due to the fact that there are still several kangaroos in the desert which are keeping the dogs busy, or they had fed off another animal.
WHAT DO FERAL CATS NORMALLY EAT?
Feral cats help themselves to a phenomenal number of species in Australia – 400 different vertebrates. This includes:
- 123 bird species
- 157 reptiles
- 58 marsupials
- 27 rodents
- 21 frogs
- Nine exotic medium- and large-sized mammals
Feral cats also eat many threatened species in Australia, and have been implicated in the decline of many species including the bilby, numbat, and western ground parrot.
Source: The Conversation