By Federico Cornetto
A wildlife photographer has captured the savage moment a seagull swallowed a rabbit whole.
Marine and natural history photographer Irene Mendez Cruz, 28, from Bristol, was on holiday on the remote Welsh island of Skokholm on May 15 when she was told about the seagulls’ strange and unsettling behaviour by the wardens of the island.
Irene then set out to capture a gull’s hunt for a rabbit and was able to film the brutal moment the large bird swallowed the mammal whole after having killed it.
As well has rabbits, great black-backed gulls also hunt and kill smaller seagulls and puffins.
Irene said: “I was shocked myself, but it is the circle of life.
“Seeing this apex predator in the wild and catching prey, as opposed to in the city going through bins was truly impressive.
“Great black-backed gulls are the largest gulls in the world and in this island, they are at the top of the food chain.
“It took some time and dedication to capture this shot, as you never know when the hunt will happen, but I am happy to have managed to capture this moment.
“The footage might come across as a bit disturbing, however this gull has to eat something and has small chicks to feed.”