This Australian name is Barry Green and he’s an animal lover who covers himself in cat pelt. In total, he has slaughtered almost 1,500 feral cats in Kangaroo Island, South Australia. He is also a ‘hands-on environmentalist’ who has been working on protecting native species in the island.
Barry skins the feral cats he’s hunted and turn them into beer holders, golf club covers, purses, and even a coat. He’s now 67-year-old and still traps cats to this very moment.
The island is located 112 kilometers south-west of Adelaide and is an island full of native species to Australia. Unfortunately, feral cats were introduced and became pests that have been killing these animals for food.
The Australian Wildlife Conservancy declared feral cats as the public enemy to reptiles, birds and small mammals of the island. A single feral cat can kill up to 30 native animals while they easily breed up to 8 kittens every time.
“They’re an introduced species. The scientists say they shouldn’t be there,” Barry Green speaks of what he knows about feral cats in KI.
One of the biggest questions we have of our catman would be if he hates the cat. Here’s his answer:
“I don’t hate cats. We just hate the feral ones and the people that put them there.
Even though I put cats down, yeah. I don’t enjoy it. It’s just something that’s got to be done and I do it in the most humane way possible.”
Mr. Green is also an animal lover, thus the reason he’s dedicated his life to end feral cats invasion on the island.
For some people, visiting Mr. Green’s house can actually give you anxiety, shock, or even panic attack. Mr. Green is also an artist since he wants to make full use of the feral cats he’s hunted. At the same time, it helps support his life by selling the products he’s made with feline fur.
He also drapes his favorite feline fur on his couch; ‘Splat’, ‘Longshot’, ‘Three Legs’ and ‘One-eyed Cat’ are currently hung over there.
The largest cat he’s every caught weigh about 7.2 kgs and is his proud trophy displayed right outside his bedroom.
Mr. Green admitted he first got into trap when two other girls were doing it to help the birds. People were saying that birds were starting to disappear, so they’d caught and trap feral cats.
Mr. Green never intended to sell cat pelts but as he taught himself how dry and tan skins, it became his little business. Orders are coming around the world – he even sent one to Russia!
“I’d rather sell a whole cat. I sell ’em for sixty dollars. I’ve only just put the price up a bit from 50. Stubby holder, plain one, 20 bucks; one with a tail, 25, and one with head, probably 40 or 50.”
“I even sent a skin to Russia. One went to Singapore for a little kid because they lived in high-rise building and he wasn’t allowed a pet so he took home and that was his pet. I sent stubby holders to America.”
Mr. Green uses .22 right in the back of their head to kill the cats. He’s also consulted with local vets to know if he’s doing it right. Vets supported his methods, saying it’s the most humane, quickest and cheap for Mr. Green.
After skinning them, he leaves the meat to be feasted by the birds.
“I set them free. I take ’em up the hill and let the birds have revenge. Be it crows or magpies or whatever. I let them have revenge.”
It’s not easy and even after 20 years and 1,500 feral cats later, Mr. Green is doubtful that it’ll ever be done. This is the largest project ever to involve eradication of feral cats.
Meanwhile, Mr. Green has always dreamt of owning a beautiful cat. But alas, that might not be happening any time soon.
“I’d like to own a cat but the government won’t let us import any decent ones – leopards and tigers and panthers. They just won’t let us import any decent cats.”