Incredible Footage Shows Baby Weasel Taking A Ride On Woodpecker’s Back

Like something out of a Disney movie, this footage shows a baby weasel taking a ride on a woodpecker’s back.

The truth behind the seemingly magical scene is rather sinister for a Disney movie, and is perhaps more fit for a Nat Geo special.

East London-based photographer Martin Le-May captured the footage of a baby weasel and a woodpecker who appear to be joining forces – with the itty-bitty weasel hitchhiking on the bird’s back.

Sadly, appearances can be deceiving. In reality, the baby weasel was hungry and looking to make a meal out of the bird.

You’ve heard the phrase ‘fight or flight,’ well this is the actual definition of the flight response!

The woodpecker takes off in flight, hoping to survive another day, but the weasel hops aboard his back in hopes of taking him down.

Martin Le-May via Business Insider

Le-May was minding his own and enjoying a walk with his wife on a beautiful day at Hornchurch Country Park when the couple heard the commotion caused by the two fighting animals.

Right around that time, the woodpecker flew past Le-May with something on top of his back… it was the weasel!

Le-May didn’t hesitate to pull out his camera and start snapping some photos of the incredible moment in nature.

At first glance the photos appear cute, but these two creatures are actually in a fight for their lives – the woodpecker wants to live another day and the weasel needs to eat.

When the bird landed, the weasel happened to spot Le-May and his wife who were looking on with great interest. The two started to scuffle on the ground a bit, but then the weasel noticed the photographer and his wife looking at them.

Martin Le-May via Business Insider

This slight distraction gave the woodpecker just enough time to swoop off into the sky, surviving with one heck of a story to share with his mates.

Sad day for the weasel, he simply ran away hungry – off to find his next meal elsewhere.

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

Weasels are known to rob nests and this crafty little weasel was likely looking to score a free meal. The woodpecker wasn’t about to give up without a fight.

When the photos were originally shared by bird-enthusiast Jason Ward, the real story behind the photos’ origin remained unknown. He assumed it was an unlikely friendship – an odd animal couple.

So, the story originally went viral as more of a love story. And then, the sinister truth came out. Jason’s Twitter caption has since been updated to reflect the truth of the wild ride.

Experts have shared their take on the photos, commenting that the bird is a European green woodpecker. This breed is known to make loud sounds. They feast on ants and must be careful of weasels looking to feast on them and their young.

Lucky for the bird, this baby weasel wasn’t big enough to take him down – especially considering the fact he became distracted by onlookers.

Martin Le-May via Business Insider

A full-grown weasel is usually around the same size as a woodpecker, but in this case, the woodpecker is clearly larger than the weasel.

This type of woodpecker can grow to around 8 inches (210-216mm) in length with a 12-inch (320-330mm) wingspan.

Although, weasels aren’t very big either. They are considered the smallest carnivore in the world – growing between four and ten inches and weighing as little as 1 ounce.

Not only is it unusual for these birds to take flight, it’s even more unusual that he did so with a weasel atop his back. Just goes to show even animals develop supersonic strength when faced with life or death.