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Predator that decapitates its prey but doesn't eat it?

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  • Predator that decapitates its prey but doesn't eat it?

    Years ago I discovered a decapitated adult Canada goose stuck in the back corner of a stall in the run-in shed. I assumed it got trampled by one of the horses.

    Sadly this morning, I found a decapitated kitten, in the same stall, same far corner. The fur on its body wasn't bloodied and it didn't appear to have been violently attacked and there were no bite marks whatsoever (or flattened areas where a hoof could have stepped on it). Its little head was right next to it, with only part of the skin removed. It was otherwise whole, for lack of a better term.

    I tried googling what happened and found very few ideas. I'm thinking perhaps an owl is the culprit. Any other ideas?

    We have very few feral cats in the area and was so saddened that I didn't 't find this poor kitten before it met its fate.

  • #2
    If not for the years in between the two incidents, I would be thinking juvenile future serial killer....

    But, this topic came up at a barn we were shoeing just a few days ago and I am trying like heck to remember what kind of animals were mentioned as decapitators. Raccoons? I'll ask my husband if he remembers.

    Third Charm Event Team


    • #3
      hawks will decapatate...


      • #4
        Cats will also.


        • #5
          Weasels and other similar predators will do this too.
          You can't fix stupid-Ron White


          • #6
            Originally posted by ThirdCharm View Post
            If not for the years in between the two incidents, I would be thinking juvenile future serial killer....
            OMG that's exactly what I first thought!

            Edited to add: I just Googled and found that Owls will do this.
            Life is short. Hug your horse!


            • #7
              Originally posted by ThirdCharm View Post
              If not for the years in between the two incidents, I would be thinking juvenile future serial killer....
              That was my first thought
              Trying a life outside of FEI tents and hotel rooms.


              • #8
                Found a 10 wk old peep, head completely missing inside barn 60 other peeps left alone. Only happened once.
                Was thinking skunk, since dog smelled like one later same week.


                • #9
                  Cats bring us presents of headless snakes, rattlers also.


                  • #10
                    My guess would be a masked culprit. Have you looked for raccoon tracks in the area?
                    "I did know once, only I've sort of forgotten." - Winnie the Pooh


                    • #11
                      I remembered a thread on a similar story, haven't read the entire thing but might be of interest to you!


                      poor kitty and goose, and poor you for the shock of finding them
                      Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.


                      • #12
                        Raccoons are notorious for this.
                        www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
                        "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
                        Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube


                        • #13
                          I posted a thread a few months back about a decapitated rabbit on my porch! Same thing! Lots of discussion. Baffled me!


                          • #14
                            My cat used to decapitate rabbits and bring the body home. Never found the heads, but she was quite a wanderer.


                            • #15
                              I would suggest some kind of small weasel as they are literally bloodthirsty, frequently getting their nourisnment from blood only. Keep an eye out for a plain lil' ole weasel, an ermine or a mink
                              Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

                              Member: Incredible Invisbles


                              • #16
                                A lot of hunters (such as cats) will only eat the head, or at least will eat the head before starting on the rest of the body, because the brain has SO much protein and nutrition.
                                Some people are like slinkies...not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you see one tumble down the stairs.


                                • #17
                                  Great horned owls are notorious decapitators.
                                  Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                                  Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                                  We Are Flying Solo


                                  • #18
                                    I'd guess great horned owl too. Found a decapitated redtailed hawk in our yard once, and only an owl could have done it.


                                    • #19
                                      "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer


                                      • #20
                                        I asked my vet why my cat leaves us headless presents. I mean she surgically removes the head. I keep thinking she's got a pyramid of skulls in her lair.
                                        Vet said the brains are really fatty and good eatin'. She was saying something else but I was too grossed out to hear.
                                        Even duct tape can't fix stupid