Live footage of a bald eagle nest in the Hays neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, took a disturbing turn for some viewers on Tuesday when it caught eagle parents feeding a cat to their chicks.
Warning: The following footage could be disturbing for some viewers.
The Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania confirmed on Facebook Wednesday that the animal in the footage was indeed a cat.
“After reviewing the footage, we believe that the cat was dead when brought to the nest,” the group wrote. “While many may cringe at this, the eagles bring squirrels, rabbits, fish (and other animals) into the nest to eat multiple times each day. To people, the cat represents a pet but to the eagles and to other raptors, the cat is a way to sustain the eaglets and help them to grow.”
It’s unclear if the cat was feral, a stray or someone’s pet. The Audubon Society noted that they recommend keeping cats indoors, not only for the cats’ own safety, but because cats can be a threat to small birds. Animal advocacy groups like the Humane Society of the United States offer tips for keeping cats happy inside.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission warned weeks ago that the livecam could potentially show footage that people found unsettling, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette points out.
“The live stream provides an opportunity to view wildlife in its natural setting,” spokesman Travis Lau said in a statement on April 1. “Sometimes, that may include scenes that are difficult to watch.”
You can watch the livecam here at your own risk.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the eagles' nest was in Hanover, Pennsylvania. The nest is in the Hays neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.