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WEIRD! Australian National Park Is Luring Feral Cats With KFC --- Here's Why

Jan 12, 2017 07:57 AM EST

Just in case you did not know yet, Australia has a feral cat problem, as in you can spot many of them in almost 100 percent of their territory. To solve the problem, a southeast state Victoria is spending hundreds of dollars from tax payer's money for bait that would also lure people by buying KFC through statutory authority Parks Victoria, Science Alert reported.

Freedom of information laws revealed a $2.2 million credit card bill by Parks Victoria, in which $260 was spent by staff to buy KFC in four months. The Guardian quoted in a report that a senior Parks Victoria staff member, on a condition of anonymity, that KFC is the most effective bait for luring feral cats.

The same report also confirmed that "KFC was sometimes used to lure the pests," according to a biologist and feral cat expert from the University of Sydney Dr. Christopher Dickman.

"There hasn't been any data published on it so the information we have is anecdotal, but it does work for luring feral cats, though mainly in urban areas," Dickman told Guardian Australia. 

"Cats in remote areas are more suspicious of new foods, but cats in urban areas are more used to living close to KFC outlets and are familiar with the smell. It is a popular bait with a strong aroma that is very attractive to carnivores," he added.

The growing number of feral cats is considered as a huge problem in Australia that hurts the wildlife and causing the extinction of some species. Previous research found that Australian feral cats consume some 400 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and frogs. The solution? A feral cat culls to trim their population that would allow local wildlife to rebound.

"Our study highlights the scale and impacts of feral cats and the urgent need to develop effective control methods, and to target our efforts in areas where that control will produce the biggest gains," said Sarah Legge, one of the authors of the study about Australia's serious feral cat problem which was published recently in the journal Biological Conservation via TIME.

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