A video shows the astonishing moment an Aldabra giant tortoise hunts and kills a noddy tern chick. It’s the first time this behaviour has ever been documented and changes what scientists thought they knew about the species. A study of the slow-speed hunt has been published in the scientific journal Current Biology.
The footage was captured on Fregate Island, a luxury resort in Seychelles. It was filmed by conservation manager Anna Zora. She and two volunteers had been counting a particular population of seabirds that live on the island. By chance, they stumbled across the hunt and Zora immediately knew something special was happening.
There are more than 3,000 Aldabra giant tortoises on Fregate Island, the second largest colony in the world. It was the first time Zora and her volunteers had even witnessed such behaviour and they had to fight their instincts to intervene.