A bizarre video of a group of turkeys circling a dead cat in Boston has gone viral as experts struggle to fathom the reason behind this strange death ritual.
The eerie footage shows 16 wild turkeys walking around a roadkilled cat in a Massachusetts street in a near perfect circle.
Watch the turkey ‘death dance’ below:
These turkeys trying to give this cat its 10th life pic.twitter.com/VBM7t4MZYr
— J… (@TheReal_JDavis) March 2, 2017
Boston local Jonathan Davis captured the peculiar moment dubbed the “death dance”.
“This is the craziest thing I’ve ever seen,” Mr Davis can be heard uttering during the filming.
“Turkeys walking in a circle around a dead cat in the middle of the road. What?” he added.
Mr Davis wasn’t the only one confused as social media struggled for possible explanations for the creepy behaviour.
“I have read that crows hold funerals for their own, but I haven’t heard of birds doing it 4 other species,” one person tweeted.
The video has been retweeted almost 100,000 times since it was uploaded on Thursday (US time).
Meanwhile, biologists and an ornithologist contacted by The New Daily were also stumped as to what these turkeys were doing, but US National Wild Turkey Federation wildlife biologist Mark Hatfield presented a possible explanation for the eerie behaviour in the video.
“They’re just making sure that it’s no longer a threat,” Mr Hatfield said in a statement.
“It’s more of a curiosity type of thing. Turkeys are very basic.”
He said the birds were trying to get an eye on the potential predator without getting too close, flocking together for protection.
“They’re saying that’s a threat, I’m gonna keep my distance and I’m following the flock,” Mr Hatfield said.
California Department of Fish and Wildlife turkey expert Scott Gardner said it is common for turkeys to do this, as they exhibit a mentality of following the leader – sometimes without reason.
“It’s not unusual for them to get into those dances where they chase each other around,” Mr Gardner told The Verge.
And as a result, these birds have been captured doing strange things in the past.
Watch another instance of turkeys circling below: