Zoo Talk

Spring is very much with us, and Monica has been totally distracted by a family of thrushes right outside her window.  We can see into the nest and have been watching four baby birds grow fat and sturdy while both Mum and Dad race to feed these cute little offspring.  I tried to take a photo for you, but the glass reflected too much, I’m afraid.

Very late, the other night, Monica heard a little bell tinkling and then leaves and branches rustling.  She showed great presence of mind and hissed loudly out of the window.  A cat ran off, and we prayed that he would settle down at home for a peaceful night’s sleep instead of trying to steal baby birds from their nest.

If you have a cat, you might like to keep him indoors at night because a survey has shown that cats that stay in at night are less likely to want to hunt.

Here’s an extract from “From “Zoo Alive”, Auckland Zoo’s zoo magazine:

“The Mammal Society in Britain has just released its findings from a 1997 survey of over 1000 domestic cats.  The results make interesting reading – during the survey period the sample cats killed 14,000 mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians.  The amount of food given to a cat made no detectable difference to its kill rate and simply seemed to make it fitter to carry out more recreational killing.  Fat cats, female cats and older cats tended to kill less.  Bell-wearing cats killed fewer mammals, but bells seemed to offer little protection to birds.  The survey found that confining cats at night also reduced the numbers of mammals killed.  An experiment using two of the bigger killers from the survey showed that their kill rate dropped by 80% when they were kept in at night – in fact, it seemed to deprive them of the desire to hunt and significantly reduced their daytime killing as well.”

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