Here is a photograph by Jak Wonderly of 232 animals that were injured by cats during 2019 and which could not be saved by a non-profit wildlife hospital based in San Raphael, California, USA: WildCare Animal Hospital. The hospital was able to save 89 of a total of 321 animals that were brought to the hospital.
It’s a very good looking photograph. I mean it caught my eye and it made me ask questions as to what it is meant to be portraying. Well, now I know. What we don’t know is the full back story. We don’t know, for example, how the animals were brought to the hospital and who brought them. We don’t know why they are so sure that these animals were attacked and injured by cats (I am not disputing this).
It is possible that cat owners brought some of these birds to the hospital because domestic cats do attack birds and they do bring them back home sometimes. Although it has been found that the majority of prey animals caught by domestic cats are eaten on the spot rather than bringing them home. Also, it is clear that these bodies are absolutely spotless on the face of it and therefore there was no attempt by the cats to eat the animals. That of course does not look good in the eyes of people who dislike cats. Note: the animals were preserved in freezers and defrosted and cleaned up before the photo shoot, we are told. This helps to explain their condition.
However, it does point to some doubts in my mind that all of these animals were killed by cats. A lot of birds, for instance, are killed by flying into windows. I think the photographer and the person behind the idea, Melanie Piazza, the director of animal care at WildCare owe us a more detailed explanation as to how they came to acquire the animals.
As explained, they were brought into the hospital alive and they died at the hospital. That’s all we know and that they were injured by cats. The photograph is called “Caught by Cats”.
The objective is not to shock people. They wanted to present the animals respectfully while at the same time grabbing people’s attention. It certainly works in that respect.
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