EAST LONDON, England — At first glace it is a photo too insane to believe.
Could that REALLY be a weasel riding on the back of a woodpecker in mid-flight?
A wildlife expert told BBC News there is no reason to doubt it.
Wildlife expert Lucy Cooke told the BBC News Channel: “This is a truly extraordinary image.
“The green woodpecker is a ground-feeding bird, but weasels normally attack rabbits. The woodpecker is not its usual prey.
“But weasels are fearless.
“A female weasel weighs less than a Mars Bar but is as ferocious as a lion, so this is why the woodpecker would have been able to take off with it on its back.”
The photographer who captured the amazing shot is Martin Le-May. He told Business Insider that he and his wife were walking through a park when they heard an animal in distress.
“The bird flew across us and slightly in our direction; suddenly it was obvious it had a small mammal on its back and this was a struggle for life,” Le-May told Business Insider in a statement submitted through e-mail.
That was when Le-May snapped the picture. Eventually the bird landed back on the ground and started struggling with the weasel.
Le-May told ITV News in an emailed statement that his presence nearby likely startled the weasel which allowed the bird to make its escape by flying away into a nearby bush.
“The woodpecker left with its life, the weasel just disappeared into the long grass, hungry.”