Jaguar takes down vulture in incredibly rare mid-air battle

Vultures are usually known as the opportunistic scavengers of the animal kingdom but this bird got more than it bargained for when it was plucked out of mid-air by a ferocious Jaguar.

As these incredibly rare snaps show, the vulture was caught completely unaware as it rested in the shade by a stretch of water at The Pantanal, Encontro das Aguas State Park in Mato Grosso, Brazil.

Catching sight of the hungry Jaguar, the bird quickly took flight but only managed to get a couple of feet into the air before the prowling predator clawed at the vultureand bit into her prey.

The extraordinary moment was captured by web designer Khanh V. Le, from Austin, Texas.

Pic by Khanh V. Le/Caters News

The 54-year-old said: “We had been following jaguar for about an hour along the riverbank.

“We knew she was hunting because she was dodging in and out of the vegetation and looking down at the river.

“When she disappeared and didn’t reappear, most of the boats gave up and went to another radio reported sighting of  two jaguars but we stayed because the report didn’t have any details on what the two jaguars were doing and we thought they were probably sleeping.

“Luckily, she eventually reappeared farther down the river so we followed her again for a few minutes. I was right in front of the action.

Pic by Khanh V. Le/Caters News

“I saw jaguar crouching and looking at the black vultureso I hoped something might happen.

“It was fun and exhilarating to be able capture my first kill, albeit a bird instead of the usual caiman.

“Though I have been told that jaguars rarely go for birds since it’s too much effort for too little in return, so it is a rare event to have witnessed something like this and captured it.

“The pictures show the dynamic of a tug-of-war with jaguar pulling downward while the black vulturedesperately pulls upwards and away.”