Photographer captures weasel hitching ride on woodpecker's back

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While it might not have caused the same kind of commotion as a certain dress, one image showing an unlikely animal pair certainly went viral Tuesday. A photograph taken by an amateur Essex, U.K.-based photographer that shows a weasel riding on the back of a woodpecker in flight made the Internet rounds, inspiring countless tweets and memes.

Martin Le-May was walking with his wife Ann in Hornchurch Country Park in east London Monday afternoon when the couple was startled by a strange squawking cry.

"I heard a distressed sqwaking noise and feared the worst," Le-May told the BBC. "I soon realized it was a woodpecker with some kind of small mammal on its back."

The small mammal was none other than a weasel.

Le-May managed to capture the unusual scene, and was unprepared for the huge attention that the shot would attract.

"I'm so proud so many people are getting to see my image. I'm totally taken aback by the response to it," he added.

It wasn't long before clever social media users were using Photoshop to place everything from "Lord of the Rings" wizard Gandalf to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the back of the distressed bird.

The bird escaped from the weasel's embrace, unscathed.

"The woodpecker landed in front of us and I feared the worst," Le-May wrote in an e-mail to Buzzfeed. "I guess through our presence, maybe 25 meters away, momentarily distracted the weasel. The woodpecker seized the opportunity and flew up and away into some bushes away to our left. Quickly the bird gathered its self respect and flew up into the trees and away from our sight."