Animals

By Jos Weale


These dramatic photographs capture the intense moment a mother parakeet battled a monitor lizard THREE TIMES her size in a desperate attempt to save her chicks.

In the images, the reptile can be seen clambering into the bird’s nest but the tiny mother bird refused to give up without a fight, grabbing onto the hungry lizard’s long tail.

PIC BY NITIN DUA/MERCURY PRESS

The real-life angry bird almost succeeded in protecting her babies, forcing the lizard to hang on to the tree branch nest for dear life after being unexpectedly yanked away.

But sadly, the heart-in-the-throat struggle did not have a happy ending for the parakeet family and ended with the huge monitor lizard breaking into the nest.

Amateur photographer Nitin Dua, from Faridabad, India, captured the images in Keoladeo Ghana National Park in Bharatpur, Rajasthan.

The married dad-of-one, 43, said: “We were probably about eight metres away from the action.

PIC BY NITIN DUA/MERCURY PRESS

“The parakeet’s young ones were hatching in its nest, and the monitor lizard was trying to get in to get to the chicks.

“The mother parakeet kept trying to pull the monitor lizard out, and her partner was also there at the scene.

“But the mother was the one doing most of the fighting. All the way through we were routing for the parakeets and were hoping and praying that they would prevail.

“But it seemed nature had already scripted their fate.

“Despite the efforts of the mother, this pair’s struggle sadly seemed to be a one-way fight, and the lizard got the better of the parakeet.

PIC BY NITIN DUA/MERCURY PRESS

“The lizard snuggled inside the nest and then all the action ended.”

Nitin had been taking a walk through the Park with friends on a sunny mid-afternoon in December 2015 when they stumbled across the fight.

And the dad-of-one was sad to see the brave fight put up by the stunning green bird was not enough to stave off the powerful lizard for good.

After a few minutes of the plucky mum pulling at the lizard’s tail – which was longer than herself – and persistently pecking and squeaking at the invader, the reptile finally reached the precious chicks.

PIC BY NITIN DUA/MERCURY PRESS

Parakeets and monitor lizards are just a couple of the incredible animal species Nitin has had the pleasure of capturing in the wild.

The amateur photographer has been developing his skills in for the last six years, focusing on the vast array of wildlife in and around his home region of Haryana.

And he said he is extremely proud to have caught such a tense moment on camera.

Nitin said: “I’m very passionate about photography, and I’d say this is probably one of the best picture sequences I’ve ever shot.

“I have had a lot of appreciation about it from people, which has been great.”