By Jamie Smith
These astonishing photos show a Verreaux’s Eagle swooping in and carrying off a young impala.
While the unlucky impala had escaped the eagle’s first attack and it’s mother tried to guide it away, sadly it was no match for the mighty bird.
Andrew Keys took these incredibly rare shots in Guateng Province, South Africa and says that the amazingly powerful bird managed to carry the deer off to its unfortunate fate.
He said: “I have never seen this happen before as it is extremely rare to see these eagles make a kill like this.
“In a case like this the hunt is almost never seen, maybe just the aftermath, to get it on camera is even rarer. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
“I noticed the two adult resident Verreaux’s Eagles circling far below just above the valley floor.
“The female, which is huge, suddenly swooped down, I heard loud squealing and it looked like the bird was attacking an impala!
“I frantically grabbed my camera and saw the bird going in for another attack but the impala saw it off.
“I then saw a female impala run off with a young one in tow, the eagle swooped in again and despite the desperate efforts of the mother grabbed the young one and glided off down the valley.
“Then there was blood curdling squealing which suddenly stopped and that was the end of the impala.
“What an experience, one can only be in awe of the power and strength of these magnificent predators of the mountains.
“I think most people are surprised that these eagles can hunt and kill such large prey.”