While it seems like this could be a great animal revision from Disney’s Aladdin of Jasmine’s magical carpet ride, the footage is real and its truth a bit sinister.
These photos of woodpecker and weasel above Hornchurch Land Park were taken by Martin Le-May, an amateur photographer from East London.
According to Le-May, when he heard and observed the fight, he and his wife went for a walk in the park. As the bird passed it, they could see it had a small mammal on its back. And that’s when he took a picture of this incident.
“I guess we distracted the weasel because it escaped when the woodpecker landed and the weasel went into the lawn,” he said.
When we look at this photo, you might wonder if this picture was edited or not? This is not Hany Farid’s opinion. He is a professor of computing studies in digital forensics and image processing at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire.
Farid noted that while the low resolution makes it impossible to perform a full test, many other factors need to be considered. First of all, it would be complicated to create such a picture because the weasel is practically hugging the woodpecker.
You may still wonder, if this painting wasn’t forged, what circumstances would have put this weasel in a situation like this?
David Mizejewski, a naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation, says weasels are carnivores, but these tiny predators prey on rabbits, frogs, and birds. Mizejewski added, “The weasel’s signature move is to cut off the spinal cord of the prey with a bite on the neck.”
Steve Backshall, a wildlife broadcaster, felt that the photo was unique and that “there is no reason to dispute its authenticity.” Woodpeckers are related to other birds such as leafcutter ants and rhino beetles, with the ability to carry 850 times their own body weight.
“The weasel is also quite attractive,” he said. It can kill things much larger than itself, so when you consider its size, it is an amazingly tiny creature.”
Check out the video for more information!