An endangered stork landed in the lion's den at Pairi Daiza Saturday morning, ending as expected – brunch for lioness Kira.
Wind from Storm Eunice blew a tree into the aviary at Pairi Daiza, breaching the enclosure and allowing the stork to escape. However, the stork apparently did not stray too far in the storm, settling in the animal park lion enclosure. Though kept in captivity, Kira conjured her huntress instincts to pounce on the prey, Le Soir reports.
Kira crunched on the stork, making a meal of the bird. Images of the impromptu meal circulated on social media Saturday.
Meanwhile, nature ran its course with tragic outcomes for 285 wild birds who met their demise at the paws of domestic cats in 2021, a 50% increase from 2019, reports Brussels Wildlife Care Center. The animal charity treats local wildlife in distress, intending to release the animals back to the wild.
"Unfortunately, these attacks often have dramatic consequences on our small native fauna. Indeed, despite care and rapid treatment, the survival rate displayed in our Center is only 20% on average," said a statement from the Brussels Wildlife Care Center.
According to the care centre, even when prey does not show visible wounds from a cat attack, micro-injuries caused by often prove fatal.
"Given the fragility of our biodiversity, it is becoming increasingly necessary to continue to implement awareness-raising measures for cat owners," the Brussels Wildlife Care Center statement said.
Big cats, such as the lions at Pairi Daiza, are much larger and far more powerful than a housecat. However, the two cat types belong to the same animal family, the Felidae family, according to Cats Protection, a United Kingdom-based cat charity.
Big cats started appearing about 25 million years ago and kept evolving. Today's house cats come from a lineage that began evolving about 3.5 million years ago and are most closely related to tigers. Indeed, tigers and house cats share 95.6% of their DNA.