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Incredible photo shows a weasel 'riding' a woodpecker

Jessica Orwig

(Courtesy of Martin Le-May)

On Monday, birder Jason Ward tweeted out this crazy photo by east London hobby photographer Martin Le-May of a weasel "hitching a ride" on what appears to be a European green woodpecker, and the bird doesn't look too happy about it:


If you've heard of the term fight or flight, this is a rare case of fight and flight.

The weasel wasn't really riding the bird but trying to eat it.

Weasels are notorious nest robbers. And it looks as if Le-May got the perfect shot following a confrontation between a weasel and the woodpecker. Here's another photo that Le-May took:

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(Martin Le-May) Le-May was walking in the Hornchurch Country Park in east London with his wife when they heard an animal in distress. 

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(Martin Le-May)

"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. 

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(Martin Le-May)

The weasel became temporarily distracted by Le-May and his wife, which gave the bird the chance to escape.

"The woodpecker left with its life," Le-May said. "The weasel just disappeared into the long grass, hungry.”

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