Seychelles’s herbivore tortoise is no longer a herbivore. 

Researchers captured a horrifying incident that took place on Fregate Island. According to them, a Herbivore tortoise gulped a chick after stalking it for some moments. This is the first time a camera captured a herbivore tortoise eating flesh. 

‘Vegetarian’ giant tortoise filmed attacking and eating seabird

The ecologist Justin Gerlach called this incident more surprising rather than petrifying. As he said, “The tortoise is deliberately pursuing this bird and kills it, and then eats it. So yeah, it’s hunting.”

These giant tortoises are now mainly found in Seychelles. For years, they have been known to be herbivorous. Ecologists say that it was their diet that shaped their ecosystem. However, a research study published in the journal Current Biology stated, there have been traces that these giant tortoises may change their diet now and then. They have been seen consuming flesh from dead birds and bones of other animals. But hunting was not on the list.

Seychelles Giant Tortoise filmed eating flesh of a chick

 Gerland confirmed to CNN that the tortoise that attacked that baby bird didn’t seem like its first attack. He added that

“It’s moving very deliberately — it’s not just wandering about, it’s looking at this tern, and it’s walking straight at it, clearly intending to do something. That suggests to me that it’s doing it with intent. It knows what it’s doing, it’s done this before.”

Some experts say that this hunting behavior could be the cause of the formation of an “unusual” combined community of tern birds and giant tortoise on Fregate Island. 

It is not the first time that we are witnessing an animal attack. For instance, chimpanzees were once filmed killing gorillas in their natural habitat. Similar attacks were reported in 2019 as well. 

Gerlach explained this incident with a statement that

“It’s probably not uncommon for animals to surprise our expectations by eating unexpected things that may just be one-off,”

He concluded his thoughts by saying that one should avoid interpreting animals’ acts and making assumptions about what they will do next. You will find only unexpected things by just filming small chunks of such incidents. Such assumptions will not always lead you to the right conclusions.