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Cat Poop Killing Seals, Dolphins, and Birds in Hawaii

Nov 05, 2016 04:21 AM EDT

Cats are beloved pets but have now turned out to be truly horrifying killing machines. It is alleged that the feces of these tiny hunters is spreading a transmissible disease that's killing spinner dolphins, monk seals, and native birds, according to CBS News.

Two animal advocate groups have been pitted against each other because of the menace caused by this deadly cat poop. Consequently, some conservationists have strongly vouched for euthanizing these stray cats in Hawaii, resulting in a massive outcry from cat aficionados.  

Cat feces contains toxoplasmosis or toxo that is only reproduced inside a cat. Toxo isn't harmful to cats, and in fact, it works out pretty well for them since it brings their food to the table. However, it's fatal for a wide range of species like spinner dolphins, sea otters, kangaroos and monk seals. This is because when cat waste gets washed out into the sea, the parasite is ingested by these poor creatures.

The parasite can live both on land and in water for up to 18 months and can prove to be lethal even for human beings. This is why the Center For Disease Control strictly advises pregnant women to refrain from changing cat litter as they stand at a risk of transferring the disease to the baby in the womb. A total of eight monk seals had fallen prey to the disease so far. Researchers say that such seals are endangered species, and just around 1,100 are left in the Hawaiian islands.

BuzzFeed News quoted Charles Littnan, lead scientists at NOAA's Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program, stating that the team was aware of the fact that the animals were being exposed to the parasite, but it's only recently that the figures have gone up. Around 300,00 zombie cats are roaming around on Oahu, which houses almost one million people, said a report from the Hawaiian Humane Society.

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