Disturbing, dangerous and just straight-up weird animal behavior is one of our favorite “Real Life Scares” topics, and nature has been very generous in providing us some seriously nightmarish material to report (we love you, Australia). But this clip takes it to a level we haven’t seen before.
The following clip, shared yesterday on Twitter by user TheReal_JDavis, was reportedly shot in a residential neighborhood in Randolph, MA, and clearly shows what looks like around 20 wild turkeys circling the corpse of a cat in the exact center of the road. Check it out:
These turkeys trying to give this cat its 10th life pic.twitter.com/VBM7t4MZYr
— J… (@TheReal_JDavis) March 2, 2017
As collective cries of “WTF?” can be heard across the social media-verse today, even a few scientists are baffled. For example, Massachusetts wildlife biologist and self-declared “turkey expert” David Scarpitti told the Boston Globe that turkeys are naturally fearful of cats, and may be having trouble deciding whether the cat is truly dead… but that doesn’t explain the birds’ almost ritualistic behavior, processing slowly in a circle around the deceased animal (which was likely hit by a vehicle) as if conducting a funeral… or, as TheReal_JDavis commented, are “trying to get this cat its 10th life.”
“I’m not sure they quite understand it’s a carcass in the road,” Scarpitti told the Globe. “But there’s always a ring leader with one in charge, and she likely encountered it to evaluate the threat… and as she is doing that, the rest are following suit. It’s just really creepy and weird.”