That vole takes the Napoleon complex to a whole new frontier
It seemed like a contest with only one possible outcome… vole on the menu.
Yet a combination of pluck and luck enabled this tiny rodent to avoid the jaws of a coyote, or prairie wolf.
The hungry predator had plucked its would-be prey out of a snowdrift beside the road through Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. But rather than surrender to its fate, the vole reared up to confront the danger head on.
And, amazingly, he managed to hold his own during the extraordinary David and Goliath battle that followed.
Battered and squashed under the coyote’s hefty paws, the vole never seems to lose heart.
At one point, he is even thrown a foot in the air but, incredibly, he survived and managed to escape.
Professional photographer Rob Palmer snapped these incredible shots in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, America.
The 56-year-old said: ‘The coyote was hunting for voles along the side of a snow-packed road in the park and I noticed him from the road.
‘He stuck his head into a snow drift and took this little vole out of the drift in his mouth.’
The vole was dropped on the ground but it stood up to face the coyote.’
The coyote just looked amused – like a cat would be with a mouse. He picked it up and threw it in to a snow bank.
‘The vole managed to get away unharmed because the coyote couldn’t find it again in the snow.’
Mr Palmer, from Littleton, Colorado, said he had never witnessed a fight like this before.
He said: ‘I’ve been an avid photographer since the age of 12 but I’ve never seen something like this.
‘I love all wildlife and I get many rewards living the lifestyle I lead. I feel very blessed to be able to do this on a daily basis.’