Spotted-tailed quolls (often called tiger quolls), are known to hunt small marsupials when the mood takes them, but Fiona Weaver and husband Liam weren’t expecting to ever catch one in the act.
The pair own and operate Tassie Bound, a company that offers visitors the opportunity to experience bushwalking and paddling day trips in the national parks outside of Hobart.
“We were on our way to meet a group that had been staying at Lake Pedder Wilderness Lodge, but we were running a little ahead of time,” said Weaver. “We pulled up on the corner of Gordon River Road and Scotts Peak Road and there they were.”
The pair immediately recognised the quoll was facing off against the pademelon and decided the best course of action was to film it from within the car.
“The first video I took is of quite poor quality, because we wanted to maintain a safe distance so we weren’t involved in anyway with what was going on,” she explained. “I would’ve expected the pademelon to run away, but it was putting up quite a fight. At one stage they were both tumbling and kicking in the air.”
The footage that has since gone viral, with more than 80,000 views since it went online on the fifth of November, was taken after the quoll managed to subdue the larger marsupial, and shows it dragging the carcass away into the scrub.
UPDATE: With the help of our video editor, Wild has re-edited footage of the actual fight between quoll and pademelon, footage that hadn’t been clear enough to be viewed previously (see below).
Bronwyn Fancourt, a zoologist at the University of Tasmania, said the predatory behaviour of the quoll wasn’t unexpected, just rarely seen.
“We’ve seen footage of a feral cat taking down a pademelon, so it’s well within reason that a spotted-tailed quoll could do the same,” Fancourt said. “It’s just rarely seen because, firstly, it’s a rarely seen animal and rarer still to see it during a predation event.”
Quolls are nocturnal animals, whereas the footage captured by Liam and Fiona was taken around 10am, making the sighting even more fortunate.