A live camera captured adult bald eagles feeding a cat to their young, leaving some viewers disturbed.
The footage in Hays, PA was streaming from the Audubon Society’s webcam, which broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“After reviewing the footage, we believe the cat was dead when it was brought to the nest,” Rachel Handel, 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 people commented on Facebook and forums that they were disturbed by the video, but Handel noted on Facebook that it was just part of nature.
“While many may cringe at this, the eagles bring squirrels, rabbits, fish (and other animals) into the nest to eat multiple times each day,” she said. “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,” she added. “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.”