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Not so tough now, Tufty! Squirrel and pheasant fight over food and territory in amazing images 


Not so tough now, Tufty! Squirrel and pheasant fight over food and territory in amazing images










Tips on no-holds-barred fighting techniques never featured very highly in the Tufty Club’s safety guidance.

But in Ivor Ottley’s garden in Hessett, Suffolk, this squirrel and pheasant are clearly sworn enemies. 

Physiotherapist Mr Ottley, 55, who snapped the violent scenes from a hide, said: ‘This slightly psychotic squirrel seems to attack anything it sees. It never wins.’

In Ivor Ottley’s garden in Hessett, Suffolk, this squirrel and pheasant are clearly sworn enemies

In Ivor Ottley’s garden in Hessett, Suffolk, this squirrel and pheasant are clearly sworn enemies

Mr Ottley, 55, recently captured one of their vicious encounters on camera. He was hiding in a tent about 15ft away so the pair were unaware a human was watching close by.

As usual the squirrel made the first move – leaping from a tree to attack the pheasant.

But as the squirrel clamped a piece of the brightly-coloured pheasant between his jaws, the bird fought back and bit into the squirrel’s back with its beak.

A fast, flapping and frantic mid-air fight ensued for around 20 seconds.

Tips on no-holds-barred fighting techniques never featured very highly in the Tufty Club’s safety guidance

Tips on no-holds-barred fighting techniques never featured very highly in the Tufty Club’s safety guidance

Then the squirrel, realising he had once again taken on more than he could chew, scurried away defeated.

Although shocked and probably slightly bruised by the garden fracas, neither creature appeared badly hurt.

Mr Ottley, a psychotherapist who took up photography five years ago, said: ‘For the past two years I have been photographing in my garden.

‘Both the squirrel and the pheasant constantly antagonise each other – though the pheasant is normally more dominant and always wins the fights.

‘They battle over food and territory, and both have very strong personalities. There is a bird feeder in the garden and food often drops to the floor, so the squirrel and pheasant both come in the knowledge that they can get a snack.

‘They always annoy each other – almost like squabbling siblings – before it reaches boiling point and both go for it.

‘The squirrel always runs off. It never wins, but it always comes bounding back later.’

Physiotherapist Mr Ottley, 55, who snapped the violent scenes from a hide, said: ‘This slightly psychotic squirrel seems to attack anything it sees. It never wins'

Physiotherapist Mr Ottley, 55, who snapped the violent scenes from a hide, said: ‘This slightly psychotic squirrel seems to attack anything it sees. It never wins’

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