With a violent flash of teeth, this is the moment a wounded and starving jaguar tried to snatch a caiman from a Brazilian river in a last ditch effort to eat.
But despite initiating the sneak attack, the cat slunk away empty-handed after the caiman successfully fought it off and swam to safety.
The brutal fight to the death was spotted by a photographer, who watched the visibly unhealthy jaguar creep up on the caiman along the banks of the Piquiri River, Pantanal, in Brazil.
Chris Brunskill said the elderly female was first spotted hunting along the riverbank with visible wounds.
He said: ‘We found this old female Jaguar who was in very bad condition with several visible wounds on her stomach possibly caused by a fight with another Jaguar.
She looked in desperate need of a meal and was actively hunting along the river bank when she grabbed this caiman right in front of my boat.
Unfortunately, the bold cat’s plan went awry with the caiman successfully slipping from her hold and hurriedly disappearing underwater.
Mr Brunskill added: ‘There was a big splash and I took five pictures in about half a second, before the caiman escaped from her grasp and disappeared from view.’
There are an estimated 4,000-7,000 jaguars in the Pantanal region, where they have evolved into specialist caiman killers and hunt during broad daylight.
In recent years footage and photos have emerged of the predators launching sneak attacks on the caimans while they bask on riverbanks in the sun.
However, in this instance, the cat actually jumped into the water to catch its prey – which is likely to show it was in desperate need of a meal.
The jaguars found in the region are the largest and most powerful of the species in South America, enabling them to take down larger prey.
They have also become a tourist attraction because they can be regularly seen in broad daylight. Elsewhere, jaguars are often hunted and tend to be shy and reclusive, making them much harder to see in the wild