An American photographer has witnessed a “rare” moment a bobcat jumped into the ocean to snare a shark.
John Bailey reportedly saw the cat watching the shark feeding on smaller fish at a Florida beach, and managed to capture a shot just after the hungry feline pounced.
“[The cat] spotted it, pulled it up, the shark floundered for a while,” Mr Bailey told local media.
“I was so fascinated, I didn’t think about being in danger.”
Startled, the lynx ran away before it could munch on its catch.
The Florida Wildlife Commission has confirmed the authenticity of the photo, which its expert believed to show an adult Atlantic Sharpnose shark.
Such a hunt is unusual, the expert said.
“[T]his is the first time we’ve seen them fishing in saltwater,” commission spokeswoman Liz Barraco told local media.
Australian environmental expert Gary Opit said it was rare, but not impossible, for a Florida lynx to pounce on the shark.
“I’ve never heard of a Florida lynx taking a shark, but it’s possible,” Mr Obit told The New Daily.
“But it’s certainly very unusual for a terrestrial predator taking a shark from the water.”
Mr Obit said in Florida, bobcats commonly fed on squirrels, rabbits, rats and even small deer.
He said although it was a rare occurrence, the inquisitive nature of the cat could have caused it to take a closer look.
“Cats naturally become overstimulated when they see anything move, so by seeing the shark feeding on the fish he would have acted like a predator – like when a cat takes a mouse,” Mr Obit said.
The presence of the photographer could explain why the “secretive and beautiful” cat abandoned its meal.
“Like most wild species, bobcats have a natural fear of people,” the commission’s website said.
The website said the bobcat was widely distributed throughout most of North America, and has adapted well to neighborhoods throughout Florida.
It was equally at home in deep forest, swamps, and hammock land.
“Occasionally, a bobcat will take a feral cat, especially if there is a high population of cats in the area,” the website said.
In another freak shark occurrence on Thursday, a Tweed-Coast beach fisherman landed a near-threatened, four-metre tiger shark after an epic three-hour effort to reel in the man-eating fish.
“My hands are covered in blood blisters and it mentally broke me because there were a few times when I had it so close to shore and then it would just take out another 600-metre run,” he told the Gold Coast Bulletin.