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Turkeys encircling dead cat baffles internet

Turkeys encircling dead cat baffles internet

Biologist Alan Krakauer, an expert on the behavioral ecologist of birds, offers an explanation that ascribes a little more intention to the birds. The video shows what could be called a "cult" of turkeys walking around the body of a dead cat in some type of unusual ceremony.

Krakauer said he's seen turkeys circling a coyote.

The accompanying footage was posted to Twitter by Jonathan Davis beneath the caption, "These turkeys trying to give this cat its 10th life".

This behavior has been seen by biologists in chickens, pheasants, and quail - where the birds follow the tail in front of them as a way to stick together.

The scene was as eerie as it was weird, but there appears to be an explanation as to why more than a dozen wild turkeys walked continuously in circles around a stricken cat Thursday on a paved street outside of Boston. "If the turkeys see a land predator like that, it probably isn't an immediate threat, but they want to keep an eye on it", he said. He also shared that the behavior they displayed may be an attempt to show a predator that they are aware of their presence and that they should look elsewhere for a meal.

Either way, we can all agree it would be alarming - for turkeys and humans alike - if that cat sprang up. He compared the turkey's behavior to a group of small songbirds mobbing a hawk or owl, reports CBS.

Turkeys, he said, are fearful of cats and view them as predators.

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