33 deaths in 15 minutes, all done in broad daylight – although most residents of the Cape’s Betty’s Bay say they are happy with what went down.
The guilty party here is a leopard, with the details covered in a TimesLive piece titled ‘Bloodbath at Betty’s Bay’ – see, their words.
The victims are the endangered African Penguins, who fell prey to the hungry predator a few weeks back:
Resident Van As Jordaan, who filmed the leopard on the edge of the Stony Point coastal nature reserve, said the 34th penguin the young animal attacked survived with neck wounds.
“It was Saturday afternoon three weeks ago. I saw this thing moving. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw it was a leopard,” he said.
“He is the top predator in the area, so he upholds his status.”
The leopard ate only two of the penguins but Landmark Foundation director Dr Bool Smuts said it was common for cats to kill more than they needed to eat.
Leopards had been living undetected in Betty’s Bay for some time, said Smuts.
“It is not unusual to have leopards populate places like Betty’s Bay.
I don’t know about you, but it makes me happy inside knowing that these graceful cats still exist in areas like this. So how about those residents and their reactions?
“We are very sad about those 33 [penguins] that were killed but nature’s got to take its course and there are thousands of penguins here,” said resident Merle Foot.
“They’re a bit out of control at the moment, and we feel very privileged that the leopard was here.”
Those penguins are “out of control” conjures up images of Danny de Vito’s The Penguin:
Not everyone sided with the leopard, though:
CapeNature said that if the leopard again attacked the penguin colony, the only one expanding on the mainland, it would have to act.
British tourists Andy and Jeanette Baughey said yesterday at Stony Point they would favour the penguins above the leopard.
“It’s indiscriminate . if it comes across a lot of easy food it would kill it all but it would waste 90% of it,” said Andy.
I’m something of a bird lover myself, a bird nerd some might say, but I’m going with the big cat on this one.
Sorry, Andy and Jeanette.
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