Incredible pictures show the moment a jackal rescues her cub from the clutches of an eagle.
A tawny eagle swooped in and snatched the jackal from its terrified mother in pictures taken in Masai Mara, Kenya.
The mother lunged at the predator, causing it to drop her cub mid-air. It landed back on the ground unharmed, much to the joy of its mother, who grabbed it and escaped the eagle’s reach.
Photographer Ateeb Hussain, 39, captured the dramatic moment and said he first spotted the jackal mother with the cub in her mouth moving around frantically.
At first, he thought she was looking out for hyenas in the area, but 10-15 minutes after first spotting the mother a tawny eagle suddenly swooped down and tried to grab the cub from the mother’s grasp.
The jackal managed to escape from the eagle’s reach for a while by outmaneuvering it, but the predator came for the cub a second time and succeeded in grabbing its prey.
Mr Hussain said: ‘It was so quick and only lasted a couple of seconds.
‘The eagle grabbed the cub, but the jackal lunged after it and the cub was dropped mid-flight.
‘It seemed rather okay for all its troubles. Perhaps the eagle had not managed a secure enough grip.’
After a few minutes, the eagle went after the mother and her cub once again, but when it was unsuccessful, it finally gave up and flew away.
‘We followed the jackal for a kilometre or so until we saw it reunite with its partner at a new site. The entire sighting must have been an hour and a bit,’ Mr Hussain said.
‘In all my years of exploring the wild I do not recall encountering a more rare and dramatic interspecies interaction. The cub was quite lucky that it was dropped and it survived the attempted grab.’
This article by Miriam Kuepper was first published by The Daily Mail on 16 June 2023. Lead Image: A tawny eagle swooped in and snatched the jackal from its terrified mother.
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