Animals do not typically kill when it isn’t crucial. Nevertheless, cases the place that is the case have been recorded. There are occasions when animals kill extra prey than they’ll eat, a phenomenon known as “extra killing” or “rooster coop syndrome.”

Killing animals for sport is frowned upon, and whereas many nonetheless hunt, it’s much less accepted than previously. Along with the truth that searching is a violent sport, extreme searching is the rationale many animals have gotten extinct on this lovely planet. We not must hunt to outlive, at the very least not in such massive numbers. We people attempt to maintain ourselves to the next moral normal than different dwelling beings as a result of we now have increased psychological skills.

Nevertheless, when an animal kills, it’s typically seen as pure and instinctive, one thing they have to do to outlive.

So whereas we dismiss animals killing different animals as only a survival intuition, is that actually true?

Looking and killing are important for carnivorous creatures like lions to outlive (Picture credit score: Cartoon Useful resource/Shutterstock)

The Henhouse Syndrome

There are occasions when animals kill extra prey than they’ll eat. This phenomenon is called “surplus killing” or “rooster coop syndrome”.

Suppose a fox encounters a rooster coop. Now that the fox wants meals, its pure intuition is to kill a hen. In open forests, if a predator attacked considered one of them, all different animals close by would scatter, and the predator would then eat the animal that killed it.

In our case, nonetheless, the chickens don’t have any place to go. Even when the fox has killed its prey, there are different animals round it. This triggers his searching intuition so he’ll go away the prey he has killed to catch extra. This has been noticed in animals equivalent to lions, foxes, hyenas, cats and different comparable animals.


The abundance of prey prompts predators to kill greater than they want (Picture: KHON SUPAN/Shutterstock)

Researchers have debated this conduct. On one hand, researchers have claimed that this conduct may profit the predator’s younger and different animals within the predator’s pack, however overkilling may result in depletion of meals sources for that space and fast depletion of prey.

Surplus killing would not occur typically, nonetheless. Animals hardly ever discover an abundance of prey or herds of predators unable to flee when attacked. Momentary vulnerability of prey to unfavorable climate or age (youthful animals equivalent to calves and fawns) may end in extra kills. One other situation that may result in extreme killing is when a gaggle of prey is seized by predators and a predator then finds them. Particularly when there’s a scarcity of meals in that space, the predator could really feel compelled to kill as a lot prey as potential.

killing for different causes

A extra widespread instance of killing animals for causes apart from survival will be present in our personal properties.

Cats have been recognized to kill small rodents like mice and current them to their house owners. Cats can do that as a result of they suppose their fellow human beings are incapable of searching, so the cat hunts on their behalf.

Home cats even have a searching intuition, similar to any predator. Though their wants are met by their house owners, these instincts do not simply go away.

Another excuse pets like cats and canine (who do not really must hunt to outlive) may kill animals is just because they have been taking part in. Maybe they’re chasing a chook, or are fascinated by an insect, or fascinated by another smaller animal. Their playtime can get robust they usually can typically injure or kill an animal.

Extra killing and extinction

This then begs the query: if animals kill different animals unnecessarily (as people do), does the accountability for preserving wildlife additionally fall on them?


Whereas animals have totally different causes for searching, survival continues to be the first concern. We now have no proof of some other animal having elaborate functions (like people) equivalent to harvesting animal components for industrial manufacturing or boasting about being an excellent hunter.

A closing phrase

There’s a well-known story a couple of frog and a scorpion.

As soon as upon a time there was a scorpion who wished to cross the river. It asks a close-by frog if it could hop onto the frog’s again, and the frog can swim them each to the opposite facet. The frog refused, saying that the scorpion would sting the frog. The scorpion tells the frog that it might be silly of him, as stinging the frog would end in each of them drowning. The frog can’t disagree and agrees. Midway throughout the river, the scorpion stings the frog. The frog yells, “Why would you try this? Now we’re each drowning!”

“I am sorry,” says the scorpion. “It is in my nature.”

Scorpion and the Frog Kurzon

Animals can’t resist their nature (Picture credit score: Kurzon/Wikimedia Commons)

It is usually within the nature of animals to hunt, be it for meals, territory or play. Animals haven’t got a way of “proper or incorrect” like people do.

Subsequently, it might be unfair to carry them to the identical ethical requirements. Though generally it isn’t crucial for animals to kill, whether or not for protection or leisure, it’s their intuition to take action.

The excellent news is that this pure intuition of animals retains the prey inhabitants in examine. Subsequently, it might not be crucial for his or her survival, however it’s crucial to take care of stability within the ecosystem.


Controls in animal and human populations on JSTOR – Acta Sociologica

Preserving cats indoors might mitigate adversarial impacts on wildlife | NC State Information (

Sci Hub | Waste Killing by Predators | 10.1111/j.1469-7998.1972.tb04087.x (hkvisa.internet)

Sci Hub | Extra Killing by Launched Predators in Australia – Proof of Ineffective Anti-Predator Variations in Native Prey Species? | 10.1016/s0006-3207(01)00139-2 (hkvisa.internet)

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