Go find your own food! This jackal had been preparing to tuck into a fresh kill when another fierce predator showed up: a hungry tawny eagle hell-bent on stealing its lunch.
German photographer Ingo Gerlach managed to capture the standoff in Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve, as the eagle repeatedly dive-bombed the jackal, but always managed to stay out of reach of its opponent’s teeth.
Jackals are opportunistic omnivores, meaning they’ll eat pretty much anything they have access to, be it plant or animal. They’re cunning and capable hunters, but they are also satisfied snacking on the leftovers from larger cats.
That may have been what this hungry jackal was guarding when the sharp-eyed eagle made its way onto the scene.
With their powerful feet and razor-sharp talons, eagles are known bullies, often harassing other creatures in order to scavenge their food. When they’re not snatching up unsuspecting animals, they can be found battling lions, cheetahs, and other fearsome hunters one-on-one for prey.
But the jackal was determined not to give up its meal with a fight. Leaping acrobatically into the air with its teeth bared, the canine manages to keep the hungry bird at bay.
The eagle’s ability to soar effortlessly in mid-air keeps it safe as it taunts the jackal below. As fearless as eagles can be, the bird knows if it gets too close, the jackal wouldn’t hesitate to take a bite.
After a standoff that lasted several minutes, the eagle decides to call it a day and the jackal chases it off triumphantly.