WARNING – CONFRONTING CONTENT: Harrowing footage of a wallaby being mauled by a cat has led to a call for pet owners to keep their animals inside at night.
The footage posted by Northern Territory Department of Environment and Natural Resources is accompanied by the caption: “Where was your tabby cat last night?”
The video shot on a sensor camera is dated July 24 this year and shows a short-eared rock wallaby scratch itself, eat some grass and then get carried away by a large orange cat in its mouth.
Councils across Australia differ on whether they allow cats to roam at night – the time when wildlife is most at risk of an attack.
Figures from the Australian Wildlife Conservancy suggest cats kill 316 million birds and 596 million reptiles a year in Australia.
‘Biggest threat to native animals’
At the time of writing, the video of the cat attack had attracted more than 800 comments and 2500 shares on Facebook.
Many opinions were from people urging pet owners to keep their animals inside.
“Cat owners who let their cats out are the biggest threat to Australia’s native animals,” one man said.
“In my opinion all cats should be kept in doors and or have a lovely enclosure attached,” a woman said.
Other people pointed out the cat’s size meant it was most likely feral.
“That's most likely a feral cat not someone's pet cat,” one person said.
“Needs to be a bounty on cats and foxes these animals just don’t belong in Australia,” another person wrote.
The footage came to light just one day after Environment Minister Sussan Ley singled out feral species as the greatest threat to Australian wildlife.
After the video of the cat attacking the wallaby came to light, she issued a statement to Yahoo News Australia.
“Animals such as feral cats are some of the biggest problems in Australia. As environment minister I will work to help combat with growing issue,” Ms Ley said.
‘They’re built for killing’
Professional shooter Anthony Grogan travels all over Australia, camping and shooting feral animals on farms.
“Australian wildlife hasn’t adapted for handling feral cats,” he told Yahoo News Australia.
“Feral cats are such a good well-bred predator, they’re built for killing.
“A lot of our small mammals and birds as well aren’t strong enough or fast enough.”
On a trip between Cunnamulla and Bourke, Mr Grogan was shocked by the number of feral cats he saw.
“Heading through the outback, you expect to see a lot of native wildlife, but the one big shock to me was the amount of cats,” he said.
“I spent a week shooting with a crew of four blokes and I myself shot 32 feral cats in seven days and that was just on one property.
“We’ve shot feral cats that’ve eaten reptiles, young lizards, frogs, native marsupials.
“There’s pretty much nothing they won’t eat really.”
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.