An incredible display of nature shocked Zachary Hartje while he was photographing foxes on San Juan Island.
A fox kit had happily just catched one of his first ever rabbits and was prancing along the prairie of San Juan Island National Historical Park unaware that a bald eagle was eyeing his prize.
Suddenly the canine predator became the prey as the eagle swoops down to grab the rabbit. Both the rabbit and the fox are lifted into the air by the powerful bird. The fox doesn’t let go at first and is kicking and flailing in the air until he finally lets go.
The dramatic moment was caught on film.
Press the image below to play the video.
“I was totally shocked,” Hartje told ABC. “No one I had ever talked to had ever seen anything like that.”
“It was a baby fox, so it might’ve been its first kill,” he added. “The fox just ran away into the den after. It looked pretty scared.”
Another photographer, Kevin Ebi, was also there to watch the fox kits and snapped photos of their mid-air struggle.
Here is something you don’t see every day: a #baldeagle and a red #fox fighting over a rabbit — and at times more than 20 feet up into the air. It happened Saturday at #SanJuanIsland National Historical Park. The fox caught the rabbit and the eagle tried to steal it away. See the whole sequence of images and hear the story on my blog at LivingWilderness.com. Click blog. It was absolutely incredible to see. The whole battle lasted just eight seconds. The fox ended up OK, but lost its dinner. #wildlife #naturephotography #bird #hunting #action #dramatic
Another photographer, Kevin Ebi, was also there to watch the fox kits. “When I heard the bald eagle calling, I knew exactly what was going to happen,” Ebi said, who posted his photos to his blog, LivingWilderness.com. “I knew it wanted that rabbit.”
“After I saw the eagle finally drop the fox … I thought, ‘This is one of the most incredible things I’ve ever seen.’”