A feral cat trapped inside a spit was found with 17 dead lizards inside its stomach.
The cat was found by a ranger on the Kaitorete Spit in Canterbury in the South Island of New Zealand during a routine clean up.
On inspecting the cat’s stomach content, the ranger found 17 highly endangered lizards.
The Department of Conservation refused to disclose the name of the lizard species in fear of reptile smugglers, Stuff reported.
On inspecting the cat’s stomach content, the ranger found 17 lizards from a highly threatened species
An estimated 200 feral cats are believed to be roaming around the spit and are increasingly putting the lives of other endangered species at risk.
The lizards become more vulnerable in winter which sees them increasingly targeted by feral cats.
Southern grass lizards, another endangered species, are also common around around the Kaitorete Spit.
Threatened species ambassador Erica Wilkinson predicts a massive decline in the southern grass lizard population of up to 70 per cent within the next 10 years thanks to feral cats.
Endangered species such as birds, insects and plants are also at risk from the 200 feral cats.
A feral cat prowling around a banded dotterel nest on Kaitorete Spit
Source: Daily Mail New Zealand