Warning: This video may be disturbing.
Webcam footage shows adult bald eagles feeding their eaglets a young cat they brought back to their nest in the Hays neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pa., on Tuesday.
“After reviewing the footage, we believe the cat was dead when it was brought to the nest,” Rachel Handel, a spokeswoman for the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We don’t know if it was a pet or feral. It’s impossible to know if the cat was killed by the eagle or was a roadkill, but eagles are opportunists and just as apt to take something that’s already dead as something that’s alive to feed their young.”
Some viewers said they were very disturbed that the act was live-streamed, while others questioned the meal.
“While many may cringe at this, the eagles bring squirrels, rabbits, fish (and other animals) into the nest to eat multiple times each day,” Handel said on Facebook. “To people, the cat represents a pet, but to the eagles and to other raptors, the cat is a way to sustain the eaglets and help them to grow.”
“The cameras are up 24/7 and can show a side of nature that isn’t really pretty,” Handel said.
“A lot of people have an idyllic view of these eagles. I think the eagle cameras are providing an education of what it takes to survive and raise offspring in nature.”
GIF source: 90S90S90S.TUMBLR.COM