The extraordinary moments in which a sea eagle flew off with a fully inflated pufferfish from the sea have been captured on camera in stunning images.
Within the shots, the sea eagle was able to get a hold of the round fish, scooping it out of the water and taking it to the skies for a ride.
Pufferfish “puff up” or inflate when they feel that they are in harm’s way, which makes it difficult for predators to grab them.
Sergey Savvi, a wildlife photographer, spoke about how the eagle circled above for almost a minute before flying away into the distance over the Andaman Sea, off the coast of Thailand.
“It was a remarkable sight for me – and the first time that I managed to photograph an eagle with prey,” Savvi said.
“The fish remained inflated the whole time. It is typical for that species to inflate in dangerous situations, especially such as this one,” he continued.
The eagles are considered top or apex predators meaning they are at the top of the food chain and aren’t natural prey for large creatures.
A sea eagle has even swept up a feral pig in the Cromarty wetlands of Queensland, Australia.
Additionally, Savvi also states that some species of pufferfish can be toxic as they contain “a neurotoxin in their internal organs” that is more than 1,000 times more powerful than “cyanide”.
“I just hope that this exotic breakfast wasn’t lethal for the eagle,” he added.
According to National Geographic, nearly all pufferfish contain the poison tetrodotoxin that makes them taste bad and can be lethal to other fish. For people, tetrodotoxin is deadly. One pufferfish could kill 30 adult humans, and there’s no known antidote.
Despite this, it is an expensive delicacy in Japan known as fugu.
Only licensed chefs prepare this and understand that a bad cut would lead to the death of a customer. The outlet also reports that deaths from consuming the delicacy occur annually.