Although it seems like it might be a fantastic animal revision from Disney’s classic Aladdin of Jasmine’s magical carpet trip, the shot is real, and its truth is a bit sinister.
The photographs of the woodpecker and infant weasel above Hornchurch Land Park were taken by Martin Le-May, an amateur photographer from East London.
According to Le-May, when they heard and observed the fight, he and his wife walked in the park. When the bird went right across it, they could see that it had a small mammal on its back. And that was when he snapped a picture of this incident.”I guess we distracted the weasel, since it managed to escape when the woodpecker landed and the weasel went into the grass,” he told the BBC.
As we look at this picture, you might wonder whether this picture is photoshopped? This is not the opinion of Hany Farid. Farid is a professor of computing research in digital forensics and image processing at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire. Farid noted that while the low resolution makes it impossible to carry out a full examination, various other elements need to be taken into account. First of all, it will be incredibly difficult to forge a such picture because the weasel practically hugs the woodpecker.
You might still wonder, that if this picture isn’t forged, then what circumstances might have led this weasel to get involved in a situation like this? David Mizejewski who is a naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation says that weasels are carnivorous, yet these tiny predators, prey on rabbits, frogs and birds, Experts have also found these animals to feed on species much bigger than themselves. Mizejewski added “The trademark move of weasel is to cut off the spinal cord of its prey with a bite on the neck”.
Steve Backshall, a wildlife broadcaster, feels that the picture is exceedingly unique and has ‘no reason to dispute on the picture’s authenticity’. The woodpecker has been linked to other birds like leaf cutter ants and rhino beetles with an ability to carry weights that are 850 times their body weight. He said: “The weasel is also rather fascinating. It can kill far greater things than itself, so when you consider of its size it is an astounding tiny creature.”
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