Horrifying viral video shows herbivore giant tortoise eating baby bird for first time - GulfToday

Horrifying viral video shows herbivore giant tortoise eating baby bird for first time

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A screengrab shows tortise attacking the baby bird.

Gulf Today Report

A Seychelles giant tortoise, a species previously thought to be a strict herbivore, has been filmed attacking a baby bird.

Scientists revealed that the giant tortoise in the Seychelles defied its historic plant-based diet as it was spotted snacking on a baby bird.

Researchers stated it was the first documented example of deliberate hunting in the wild by the species.

bird-turtle The giant tortoise chased the baby tern along a tree trunk, and eventually killed it and ate it.

Environmental researchers at the University of Cambridge's Zoological Museum captured the disturbing incident on video, which occurred in July 2020 on Frigate Island in the Indian Ocean.

"This is a completely unexpected behaviour that has not been previously seen in tortoises," Justin Gerlach, senior researcher and director of studies at Peterhouse College, Cambridge, said in a statement.

Gerlach states: “The giant tortoise chased the baby tern along a tree trunk, and eventually killed it and ate it. It was a very slow encounter, the tortoise was moving at its natural, slow gait pace, and the whole interaction took 7 minutes.”

"It is very common for herbivores to eat a few dead animals as a free source of protein, but this is the first video evidence that they are deliberately killed in order to eat," Gerlach told CNN.

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