New Zealand ranger finds 17 lifeless lizards inside trapped feral cat

A feral cat caught in a trap has been found with 17 dead native lizards inside its stomach in New Zealand.

A ranger at the Kaitorete Spit on the nation’s South Island found the feral cat after it was trapped in Canterbury, according to New Zealand outlet Stuff.

It’s not known how long the cat had been trapped, it’s believed to have occurred some time during the coronavirus lockdown, but the animal was only discovered after restrictions in New Zealand were eased.

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The cat’s stomach was cut open to see if it had eaten any native animals after it was caught near a known habitat of a protected lizard species.

Inside its stomach were 17 dead native skinks, and parts of other lizards.

New Zealand’s Department of Conservation didn’t specify the exact species, citing smuggling concerns.

Cats, feral and domestic, terrorise native animals in Australia and New Zealand, which until a few centuries ago, didn’t have them as a predator.

Lizards also move slower in colder weather, placing them at particular risk at this time of the year.

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