A Kaikoura kayaking guide has captured a life-and-death battle between a hungry fur seal and an octopus.

Kaikoura Kayaks guide Conner Stapley was out with three tourists in South Bay yesterday, when he came across the epic battle.

He noticed thrashing on the surface of the water, and soon realised it was from a big male seal attacking the octopus.

The kayakers were soon spectators in a grisly battle as the octopus tried, and failed, to avoid becoming lunch.

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The desperate octopus and hungry fur seal were both determined to win. Photo / Conner Stapley
The desperate octopus and hungry fur seal were both determined to win. Photo / Conner Stapley

It's suspected that the seal dragged the octopus up from the bottom of the ocean, before battling it out at the surface.

It's not the first time a Kaikoura Kayaks group has spotted such a battle, either. Owner Matt Foy said they'd come across battles before, with some lasting up to 20 minutes.

Sometimes the octopus breaks free, but not this time. This time, the fur seal got his lunch.

The octopus put up a good fight, but eventually became lunch. Photo / Conner Stapley
The octopus put up a good fight, but eventually became lunch. Photo / Conner Stapley

Foy said it wasn't the nicest way to go, with pieces of octopus sometimes landing in the nearby kayaks.