birdofprey

Every time someone talks about hurting cute animals, clubbing baby seals to death inevitably comes up. Baby seals are the poster children for adorable, fragile animals, but they are much safer from hunting than they were in previous decades. Yet, while humans do not hunt nearly as many seals as they did decades ago, birds of prey have not ceased their ancient tradition. In the Falkland Islands, the striated caracara, also know as the Johnny rook, has a taste for baby animals, including baby seals.

Striated_Caracara_with_a_dead_Gentoo_Penguin_chick - Photo by Liam Quinn
Striated caracara with dead Gentoo penguin chick. Photo by Liam Quinn.

Like many birds of prey, striated caracaras are opportunistic feeders, so they will scavenge whenever they have the chance, and they primarily eat carrion. However, they are not against pursuing injured or weak animals, and baby seals fit this description to a tee. In the video below, watch as a group of caracaras assaults a helpless baby seal, sinking their talons into its flesh and attempting to drag it away.

Fortunately for the baby seal, it only sustains minor injuries and manages to escape. Unfortunately for other baby animals within the caracara’s habitat, escape is not always an option.

In another video, a ravenous striated caracara raids the nests of seabirds, eating eggs and babies alike. It’s horrifying, but it’s nature.