The swamp rat

Sometimes it is educational to see a dead body, and sometimes it is just sad.

I found this native swamp rat (Rattus lutreolus) at the front of my house. The body was very fresh and just the head had been munched.

Swamp rats are kinda cute and furry when alive. I’m sorry I didn’t get the chance to see it in that state.

Eastern swamp rat (Rattus lutreolus); photo by Catching The Eye, Wikimedia Commons

They are active both day and night, preferring to live in dense vegetation in swamps or next to streams. They tunnel through the vegetation, eating seeds, stems, insects and fungi.

Puzzling over how it died, I asked around. The general consensus, especially from a friend who is a wildlife carer, is that a cat got it. She has seen sugar gliders with only their heads bitten off by cats.

This makes sense because there were cat footprints on my back deck that day. (There are some advantages to not sweeping.)

Cat footprints

Australia has a huge feral cat problem, with one estimate of 1.7 billion native animals killed each year. I just can’t see how such a scale can be resolved, but I try to do my little bit.

I’ve put my cat trap out but had no success yet. Moggies beware, I’m gonna get you.

 

This entry was posted in Animals on land, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to The swamp rat

  1. Kathy Pearce says:

    Yes, we have seen a few bodies like this up at North Head. Just beheaded, not predated as if for food.

    Kath

  2. Roselene says:

    Another little creature that I’ve never seen.
    As for feral cats – long live John Wamsley andBarry Green

  3. Prue Gargano says:

    Bloody cats again! When will people learn? When will the government act?

  4. Amanda Pawski says:

    Do you sprinkle meaty or fishy substances around your cat trap Joy? I splash a bit of whatever I’m using as bait around the general area in hope this will attract the feral predator and have been successful a few times

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