In a breathtaking moment that has been beautifully captured in photographs, a jackal mother in Masai Mara, Kenya, exhibited remarkable courage as she bravely saved her cub from the grip of a tawny eagle. These striking images vividly portray the mother’s fearless actions as she pounced on the predator, causing it to release her cub while airborne. The cub safely touched down on the ground, eliciting immense relief and happiness from its mother, who promptly retrieved it and swiftly retreated beyond the eagle’s range.
Noted photographer Ateeb Hussain, aged 39, had the privilege of witnessing and documenting this intense encounter. Initially observing the jackal mother in a state of agitation, carrying her cub, he assumed she was vigilantly watching out for potential dangers, such as hyenas nearby. However, in a matter of moments, a tawny eagle swept down and made an attempt to snatch the cub from the mother’s grasp.
“A Tawny eagle made a swoop and tried to grab the pup from the mother’s jaws. The jackal had ducked and avoided the eagle. The eagle landed some distance away and kept a watch,” he tells My Modern Met. “Following this, the jackal kept moving forward, stopping and scanning around.”
“The eagle would make a few more attempts, but each time the jackal would outmaneuver it. After a few failed attempts, the eagle finally managed to grab it; the action was fleeting and lasted perhaps a couple of seconds,” Hussain recalls. “The eagle grabbed the pup, the jackal lunged after it, and the pup was dropped mid-flight. The pup seemed rather OK for all its troubles.”