Man, the Australian ecosystem doesn’t do anything by halves. Everything is either the weirdest, most poisonous, or straight-up biggest version of itself. Right now they’re battling feral cats, but of course they can’t just be normal feral cats — they have to be 45-pound feral cats that can only be eradicated by specially trained dogs.

The director of terrestrial ecosystems for the Northern Territory Department of Land Resource Management apparently told Vice that the cats weren’t that much bigger than regular domestic cats, but I dunno, look at this shit:


Jake Weigl

Reader support helps sustain our work. Donate today to keep our climate news free.

And they’re voracious. A researcher said that the stomach of one contained “the remains of two sugar gliders, a velvet gecko, a bird, and some insects — that’s just one cat, over one day.” There were also some beer cans, a Maryland license plate, and a small wooden puppet who goes by the name of Pinocchio.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

They’re hard to trap, too — they’re huge, for starters, and too clever to be fooled twice. So Australia is fighting the smart giant cats in the only way it knows how: with SMART GIANT DOGS:

Dean Yirbarbuk, the chairman of the Warddeken ranger group, told a local news website that the canines “specialize in cats … They chase the cats, they catch them in the tree so we can tranquilize them or catch them somehow, so we put a radio collar on them and track them with a beacon.”

Graeme stressed that these cat-trapping dogs needed to be the best of the best. “Not all dogs can do it,” he said. “Certain breeds of dogs can do it, and certain individual dogs within those breeds can do this. You might train three or four dogs, and only one of them works, so it’s quite specialized.”

Good luck, guys. We can’t wait for your next plague, which will probably be fist-size ladybugs full of acid that explode when touched.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.