A bitter aftertaste! Stoat kills rabbit twice its size after 20 minute fight only for a fox to snatch the prey
18:19 GMT, 28 November 2012
This unlucky stoat fought hard to kill a rabbit more than twice its size only to watch helplessly as its meal was stolen – by a typically wiley fox.
The small animal battled with the much larger foe for 20 minutes before it gave in, only for a hungry fox to nonchalantly stroll out of the brush and take the spoils.
Wildlife photographer Robin Morrison captured the struggle between the three wild creatures as he was walking through a wood near Ilminster, Somerset.
Gotcha! After 20 minutes of fighting this stoat manages to kill his rabbit foe in a Somerset wood
What's that The stoat is busy trying to work out how to move the body when something approaches in the distance
Leg it! The stoat leaves the rabbit and heads for the safety of hiding behind a tree trunk as the fox runs in
His pictures show the fight between rabbit and stoat perfectly and the winner fleeing without his dinner as the much larger fox arrived.
'I was out with the camera at the weekend and witnessed an amazing battle of life between a rabbit, a stoat and a cunning fox,' he said.
'This was an example of the brutal reality of British wildlife and was a stunning event to observe as it unfolded in front of me and the camera.
Battle begins: The stoat and rabbit fight in the leaves with the picture slightly blurred because of the speed of the attack
Wrestling: They writhe around and at this point the stoat appears to gain supremacy over his foe
Killer bite: The stoat grabs the rabbit's throat with its sharp teeth and delivers the fatal blow
Action: The rabbit's body sinks as it loses the fight for life as the stoat refuses to let go
Wriggle room: Having killed the rabbit the stoat now tries to consider how to move the corpse – which is more than twice his size
Who's that then The stoat appears to notice he is being photographed from afar
'In essence, the very large rabbit was chased and caught out into the open by the stoat.
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Coast's clear: The fox steams in and can't believe its luck as the freshly-killed rabbit is left on the floor
Just before the stoat tucked into it’s hard-won meal, it was stolen by a fox.
Robin, 53, was out walking on Herne Hill on Saturday morning, when he witnessed the event.
Yum: In runs the fox with the victor in the previous fight having fled sideways
Winner: The final picture show the fox struggling to hold the big rabbit in its jaws
He said: 'The stoat retreated into the undergrowth and the fox bounded up.
'It looked like the fox had a huge grin as it approached the rabbit, this was clearly an easy meal for it.
'I felt very sorry for the stoat as it lost out on a meal and would no doubt have to start all over again.
'I was lucky to be in the right place and the right time.”
He added: 'It’s hard not to intervene and come to the aid of the rabbit, but I had to remember that the stoat is only killing what it needs to live and one less rabbit is not going to make a huge difference.'