Flock of Turkeys Circle Dead Cat in Weird Ritualistic Dance


The video shows an estimated 17 turkeys circling the feline. The video shows what could be called a "cult" of turkeys walking around the body of a dead cat in some type of odd ceremony.

The scene was as eerie as it was freakish, 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.

"These turkeys trying to give this cat its 10th life", he wrote in his caption. One joked that there was no foul play, but the freaky behavior is a mystery to them. "Maybe they are waiting to see if the cat wakes up?"

Debra Kriensky, a conservation biologist for New York City's Audubon, says that the turkey's behavior is unusual. It can help signal to other turkeys in the area that there's a threat, or help the turkeys evaluate how big of a danger the predator is. She adds that circling is not an unusual behavior for the fowl, males will at times circle females when they are ready to breed, but seeing them circle a dead cat is an unusual sight, reports WWLP 22 News.

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Krakauer said that he has seen similar behavior when a coyote moved through a flock of turkeys - with the birds keeping a "respectable" distance from the predator.

Either way, we can all agree it would be alarming - for turkeys and humans alike - if that cat sprang up.

Turkeys, unlike vultures, aren't carrion eaters, so they probably didn't see the dead cat as a potential snack, the Verge said.