Wildlife photographer Kevin Ebi was out shooting a few days ago when he witnessed and photographed a crazy sight: a bald eagle and red fox fighting over a rabbit… in midair.
While photographing the non-native foxes in San Juan Island National Historical Park on San Juan Island in Washington state, Ebi spotted a young red fox carrying a rabbit it had caught across a meadow. As he panned his camera to follow that fox, a bald eagle suddenly swooped in from behind Ebi and grabbed the rabbit while it was in the fox’s mouth.
“To my surprise, the scene was even more dramatic than I expected,” Ebi writes on blog. “I thought the fox would drop the rabbit, giving the eagle an easy dinner.”
But no: the stubborn fox held on tightly to the rabbit and was itself carried more 20 feet into the air. The two predators struggled for about 8 seconds before the fox fell and hit the ground in a small cloud of dust (don’t worry: Ebi says the fox was perfectly fine afterward, but we’re guessing its ego might have been bruised).
Here’s a sequence of photos Ebi captured showing how the aerial tug-of-war played out:
Ebi’s work has appeared in some of the world’s biggest publications, including National Geographic, Smithsonian, Outdoor Photographer, and Lonely Planet.