Distressing footage of cat mauling wallaby sparks warning to pet owners

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.

A rock wallaby in a Northern Territory field at night with a measuring gauge behind it.
A rock wallaby 'just minding her own business'. Source: NT Department of Environment and Natural Resources

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.

An orange cat with a dead wallaby in its mouth in the Northern Territory. The image has sparked a warning to cat owners to keep their pets inside.
A large cat kills a rock wallaby, moments after it was seen scratching itself. Source: NT Department of Environment and Natural Resources

‘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.”

A black cat on a fence in the distance seen through a gun scope (left). Professional shooter Anthony Grogan holding a rifle in one hand and dead cats in the other.
Professional shooter Anthony Grogan (right)was shocked by the number of feral cats in Australia. On the left is a feral cat seen through a gun scope. Source: Anthony Grogan

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.”

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