FUR was flying when this squirrel pounced on a rat trying to steal his meal.

The violent scene was unwittingly instigated – and then captured – by ex-Oxford Mail photographer George Reszeter on Wednesday morning.

He had gone to a feeding place near his home in Wootton, near Abingdon, where he photographs birds and other wildlife.

He scattered some bird seed which drew the attention of the ravenous rodents.

But after a short, sharp exchange, the rat did a runner, leaving the squirrel to enjoy a hard-won feast.

Mr Reszeter, 59, said: “I have been photographing wildlife for 30 years but never seen anything like this. They were obviously both hungry, looking for food, and all of a sudden they turned on each other.

“It just happened so quickly.

“It’s like all the animal world, when they are hungry they will attack.”

He added: “I have noticed we are getting bigger and bigger rats, it is quite dramatic.”

Pim Young, an assistant reserves officer with the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT), said the scuffle was a rare sighting.

“Squirrels are pretty aggressive and they have got very sharp claws,” she said.