This mid-flight woodpecker–weasel battle is the Internet’s new favorite photo

It's a once-in-a-lifetime photograph.


Jam Kotenko

Internet Culture

Published Mar 3, 2015   Updated May 29, 2021, 9:55 am CDT

The Internet found a new pair of animals to obsess over Monday night. No, not llamas. This time it was a weasel and a flying woodpecker. The weasel was photographed riding on the back of the woodpecker. In other words, it was the perfect viral photo.

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Photographer Martin Le-May was walking through London‘s Hornchurch Country Park with his wife when the couple chanced upon the extraordinary sight.

No, this is not a Disney animated movie where two creatures strike up an unlikely friendship and proceed to go on adventures together. What drew Le-May and wife to the scene was a terrible noise that sounded like a distress signal.

“Both of us trained our binoculars and it occurred that the woodpecker was unnaturally hopping about like it was treading on a hot surface,” Le-May told ITV News. “Just after I switched from my binoculars to my camera the bird flew across us and slightly in our direction; suddenly it was obvious it had a small mammal on its back and this was a struggle for life.”

While it took some time for Le-May to realize the Internet gold he had in his possession, his memorable snapshot took social media by storm, in the form of hilarious #WeaselPecker memes.

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H/T Telegraph | Photo by Martin Le-May

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*First Published: Mar 3, 2015, 12:24 pm CST