Gas engineer captures amazing images of stoat catching and killing rabbit four times its size

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GRUESOME pictures show the moment a stoat chased down and killed a rabbit four times its weight.

Stoats, which are rarely seen at all let alone in action, are famed as ferocious and brutally efficient predators.

So gas engineer and keen amateur wildlife photographer Scott Honeyman could barely believe his eyes when he glimpsed the life-or-death struggle near Dunkeld, Perthshire.

Scott, 52, from Dundee, said the pursuit lasted for a total of 10 -15 minutes before the stoat emerged victorious – and blood-stained.

He said: “It was strange. I was excited at photographing it but feeling bad for the rabbit at the same.

The stoat moments before capturing his prey.

“I turned up the glen in my car and about 100 yards in I see the stoat chasing the rabbit on the road.

“I pulled over onto a grass verge, slowly got out my car and then hunkered down and watched.

“It caught the rabbit by the back of the neck. It squealed as it attacked the rabbit. However, the rabbit managed to get free and make a big jump into the air.”

“But the stoat was to fast and agile, pins the rabbit down again biting into the rabbit’s neck this time immobilising it before finally dragging it to the side of the road into the heather. The whole thing lasted about 10-15 minutes.”

The tiny stoat managing to pin down the rabbit.

Scott took the pictures in September and shared them online last month with the caption: “One of my best 2018 experiences.”

Ian Rankin – not the crime author – was among those blown away by the images, writing: “Unbelievable pics, Scott, and talk about being in the right place at the right time.”

He added: “I’ve lived in the countryside over half a century and never seen this before. well done.”

Wyn Smith posted: “I was brought up in the countryside and, apart from fleeting glimpses of stoats and weasels, I was never so lucky to see something like this that actually shows their hunting prowess. Stunning set.”

An adult stoat weights about 260g

John Senior O’Rourke said: “ It doesn’t get much better than that. Great shots.”

Alasdair Smith added: “Awesome pics. Massive respect for these wee guys.

“Always amazes me how they take down prey much bigger than themselves. Wee dude looks well chuffed.”

A typical adult stoat weight about 260g while an adult rabbit is likely to weigh 1 – 2kg.