Rat cannibalism?

Found in a DOC 250. Would like to know if this looks like cannibalism by another rat or if it has been eaten by a stoat/ferret? (or is it impossible to tell)

Rats aren’t as fussy as mustelids are when it comes to scavenging, so the older the corpse, the more likely it is that it was a rat. If there are brown/Norway rats where you trap, I’d bet my money on one of them being responsible. If you trap mice, they’re an excellent brown rat lure and ship rats go for them, too.

I’ve placed the half-eaten corpse of rats into the lure section of a DoC tunnel before (if it’s still in decent condition), and trapped a predator shortly thereafter, which might have been returning for seconds.

A few weeks ago, my neighbour’s dog scared off an animal that was scavenging a rat out of one of my T-Rex tunnels in the morning. I took the rest of the rat out of the trap and put it inside a DoC tunnel nearby. Late in the afternoon, I killed a weasel in the DoC 200.

What’s in the measuring cup?


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“What’s in the measuring cup?” This is an upside down tea strainer to thwart lightweight peanut butter thieves (mostly mice I think)

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I had one of these recently, then when the trap was cleared and rebaited, we caught a half grown cat. In a DOC200…

So it might well have been that.

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I’ve trapped 4 juvenile cats in my DOC 200’s. They weren’t in the traps for long, though, because I check my tunnels frequently. I’ve reduced the size of my baffles since then, so it’s less likely to happen in the future.

I want to catch them. Don’t you?

Absolutely, but I want them to be killed as humanely as possible.

DOC200 hitting a kittens head would be pretty quick wouldn’t it?

It’s only happened 6 times, so far, but they just get stuck. They’ll have one hell of a headache, but it’s dehydration and harsh weather that would have killed them, not the injury.

The cats that I’ve trapped have been juveniles that are just small enough to squeeze their skull through the baffles. In human terms, they’ve been the equivalent of 12 or 13 year-olds, I reckon.

The general consensus is that 9/10 feral kittens die quickly, but I don’t know what the typical survival rate of juveniles is. Food and water availability will be the biggest factors, of course.

I’ve never trapped what I would call a kitten. I should have by now.