A sad ending for an unlucky tortoise that becomes not only roadkill but also a meal for a group of tawny eagles.
Erland Huledal was able to capture the entire sighting and shared it with LatestSightings.com.
“The anticipation was high as I drove down the H3 towards Berg-en-Dal. Having visited South Africa regularly since the 1980s, I am no stranger to the park’s incredible wildlife, but I always feel a thrill of excitement at the prospect of spotting something new. Little did I know, I was about to witness something incredible.”
“I noticed something on the road ahead: three tawny eagles. Two of them took flight and perched in nearby trees as I approached. But one remained on the ground, feasting on something. At first, the object being eaten looked like a small piece of flesh.”
Tawny eagles, like the ones Erland saw, are a common sight in the Kruger National Park. These birds of prey are known for their keen eyesight and impressive hunting skills. While they primarily feed on small mammals like rodents and hares, they are also known to scavenge and eat carrion. In fact, tawny eagles are often seen perched on the side of the road, waiting for their chance to swoop down and feed on roadkill.
Eagle Rips Tortoise Apart Limb by Limb!
“It was a grim sight. A tiny tortoise that was killed by a speeding car was being eaten by the eagle. The eagle was not bothered by my presence. Continually pecking at the soft exposed limbs of the flattened tortoise.”
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Roadkill is unfortunately a common sight in Kruger National Park. As well as in many other areas with high levels of wildlife traffic. Animals like impalas, birds, and small reptiles are particularly susceptible to being hit by cars, especially at night when visibility is low.
While it can be difficult to completely avoid hitting an animal on the road. There are some steps visitors can take to reduce the likelihood of causing harm. Slowing down, and following the speed limit, is one simple way to give animals time to move out of the way.
“Eventually the eagle picked up its prize and flew off to a nearby tree. It then continued feeding on the tiny tortoise until nothing was left but the shell.”