Dramatic pictures capture showdown between bunny rabbit and stoat in wild chase

DRAMATIC pictures incredibly captured a showdown between a bunny rabbit and a stoat in a wild chase.

The two animals were snapped sprinting through a field in Satley, County Durham in an epic pursuit.

The white-tailed rabbit is seen leaping through the air in a desperate attempt to escape while the determined stoat clings to it.

Despite the remarkable size difference between the two, rabbits are a stoat's favoured prey – even though they can be more than five times larger.

Stoats typically aim to wear their opponents down by relentlessly pursuing their prey, as demonstrated in these remarkable images.

As the rabbit bounds across the English countryside, the stoat manages to get a grip of its future feast and grabs onto the back of its neck.

The staggering agility of the furry little creature proves too much for the bunny, as after grappling in the air, the stoat then administers a fatal bite.

Just seconds later, the victorious stoat was pictured proudly standing over its defeated rival – appearing to coldly stare straight into the camera.

The extraordinary pictures were captured by keen wildlife photographer Andy Morkot as he enjoyed a stroll in the idyllic village of Satley.

He and a pal watched the tense chase unfold and quickly whipped his camera out.

Andy explained: "My friend spotted the rabbit in the distance. It was an incredible moment."

"Very sad that it didn’t end well for the bunny, but that is Mother Nature."

Stoats are known to 'dance' majestically in an attempt to mesmerise rabbits before pouncing.

The lean little creatures effectively hypnotise their prey by leaping and thrashing around in the air.

They typically defeat bunnies by biting the base of their skulls after a hot pursuit.

Stoats also chow down on insects, fish reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates.

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