Come here! Squirrel gives hungry pine marten the slip as they chase around tree trunk in a deadly game of tag

  • A squirrel was in a chase for its life after being targeted by a larger pine marten
  • The pine marten ran around behind the squirrel which nimbly dodged its claws
  • A hunter filmed several minutes of footage in Yellowstone National Park  It might look like a game of tag as this pine marten chases a squirrel around a tree trunk but it's deadly serious. 

    A hunter in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, managed to film the squirrel nimbly dodging the hungry predator's claws as the two animals spun round the pine tree. 

    The encounter, in the Madison River area of the park, went on for almost half an hour before the squirrel escaped and left the pine marten sitting in the snow. 

  • The pine marten, left, chased the squirrel, right
    The pine marten chased the squirrel around the tree

    The pine marten chased the squirrel around in circles on the tree in Yellowstone National Park

    During the chase the pine marten doubles back several times in the hope that the confused squirrel will run straight into its grasp.  

    The unidentified hunter said: 'This pine marten, a brown weasel native to Yellowstone, appeared to be hunting the squirrel as the squirrel was simply playing with the marten.

    'The chase went on for nearly 30 minutes but the squirrel eventually escaped.' Pine martens are effective predators who are normally between 18 and 26 inches long and weigh between one and three pounds.  

    They normally eat small mammals, including squirrels, but will also hunt voles, mice, shrews and even hares, as well as birds, eggs, amphibians, reptiles and insects. 

    They are one of the few predators agile enough to catch a squirrel. 

    Not only can they climb trees easily, but the combination of their lightweight bodies and strong claws enables them to jump from treetop to treetop without breaking a limb or falling to the ground. 

    But this squirrel, at least, managed to escape. 

    Eventually, the pine martin gave up the chase and left the tree after the squirrel escaped

    Eventually, the pine martin gave up the chase and left the tree after the squirrel escaped 

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