Last year in the spring, we left our supplies for a night under a tarp because it was raining, and I forgot my leather gloves there. The next morning, a finger had been chewed clean off of the glove. I found this confusing, and wondered what might have done it. A wolf would have just taken the whole glove. It was a lot of damage for a squirrel to do overnight, too.
The rest of the week, we had snowshoe hares the size of small dogs hanging out with us. They seemed to like the sound of my voice, and would come close to me when I spoke to them. One even tried to eat some cans I had left by the fire pit after burning the food out of them to not attract predators. I had to shoo him away. So now I know why he was so interested in my glove, turns out the species are scavengers having to live in the harsh north. According to the article, they have been seen cannibalizing their dead buddies, as well as eating grouse feathers, and even a dead lynx!
I hope the hares will be there to greet us again in the spring; by the fall they were either hiding, or had been eaten by the wolf pack.
Actually, so called "vegetarian" animals such as deer for instance are sometimes seen eating meat from dead carcasses. This can be quite shocking for some people, especially vegetarians, but this has been observed among other animal such as goats, horses, cows... It's not something that happens everyday, but id does happen occasionally.
My own domestic rabbits will eat a bit of meat from time to time. I got in the habit of leaving old beef bones in their pen for something to gnaw on, in hopes it will protect the wooden pens from being chewed on. It didn't. But they do gnaw the bones a little, perhaps for minerals? When I added more pens but didn't have anymore beef bones at the moment, I threw in some chicken bones that was from a roasted chicken we had for dinner. By morning, all the meat has been chewed off the bones. That was surprising. So now from time to time I offer some bones from chicken, pork chops, or whatever we had for dinner. Not often, but occasionally. The does seem to go for it more so than the bucks.
I wasn't aware that they would eat raw meat, but now that I know, I plan to offer them tidbits when we do a home slaughter. We'll share the bounty.
It's never too late to start! I retired to homestead on the slopes of Mauna Loa, an active volcano. I relate snippets of my endeavor on my blog : www.kaufarmer.blogspot.com
He's dead Jim. Grab his tricorder. I'll get his wallet and this tiny ad:
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