Extraordinary footage of rats kickboxing ‘like Ninjas’ is among the highlights of an exhibition of wildlife art and films currently on show in North Yorkshire.
The video footage was recorded by artist and wildlife filmmaker Robert E Fuller and is among a collection of remarkable wildlife behaviour films on show at his art gallery in Thixendale.
It shows a rat delivering a series of karate-style kicks to its opponent. The rat leaps into the air to boot a rival rodent along the edge of the pond and out of sight.
“Rats tend to live in large social groups, but they will fight if they don’t know each other or to establish dominance over one another,” Robert said.
“Fights can involve them standing on their back legs, boxing and wrestling one another, but many fights begin with what looks to us like kickboxing.”
The rat footage was captured by a camera hidden by a woodland pond dug by the artist in 2020 to attract wildlife. So far deer, badgers, buzzards and even goshawks drink there regularly.
“Rats also come here to drink, and sometimes even find themselves on the menu too – when the buzzards are about and hunting,” said Mr Fuller.
The Yorkshire artist has hidden more than 100 surveillance cameras throughout his garden and in the surrounding countryside so that he can observe wildlife for his detailed paintings. These artworks are also on show at the exhibition.
Other videos on exhibit include remarkably intimate footage of a kingfisher trying, and failing, to sit on its chicks after they grow too big to brood, rare film of red kites feeding their chicks inside their nest and adorable video clips showing little owls rubbing beaks in courtship.
Longer films about the barn owls, kestrels, and tawny owls whose individual lives the artist has followed this year are also available to see.
- Robert E Fuller’s wildlife art exhibition is at the Robert Fuller’s gallery in Thixendale and runs daily from 10am-4.30pm until Dec 23rd. More information at the website