A huge rat has been filmed battling a tiny pigeon in a brutal showdown on the streets of New York City.

Viral video captured by passerby Naquazia Gresham shows the bloodthirsty rodent injuring a grey pigeon before her friend breaks it up with a metal pole.

The desperate rat appears to have bitten on the pigeon's neck while trying to drag it towards a rubbish bin on the pavement.

The little pigeon flaps its wings in a desperate bid to escape from the vile attack.

Naquazia, who was walking with a group of friends in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is heard saying: "Oh no."

Her friend quickly grabs a metal pole and hits the rodent to scare it off.

The rat bit on the pigeon's neck and attempted to drag it towards a bin
The rat bit on the pigeon's neck and attempted to drag it towards a bin

The street rat scurries across the road and disappears in sight under a car nearby and the wounded pigeon walks away from the skirmish.

The video has amassed a whopping 3 million views since it was posted on Wednesday.

The 32-year-old told New York Post that she and her friends first saw the rat initiate the attack and pounced on the pigeon's back.

She said: "I saw the little pigeon that was hurt and it was kind of staggering and injured and out of nowhere, the rat came and just literally attacked it.

Naquazia's friend grabbed a metal pole and hit on the rat to free the injured bird
Naquazia's friend grabbed a metal pole and hit on the rat to free the injured bird

"He said something just came over him where he was like, 'You have to help the bird'.

"So he attacked the rat to get off the bird."

Viewers were shocked to see the unusual attack and said the rats living in New York City are of a different build.

"The day I knew New York rats were built was when I saw one chase a cat," one wrote. "Still baffles me to this day."

Another viewer thought it's not fair to step in the animal fight and commented: "Uh...he was just trying to eat lol. Imagine if every time we ate chicken a random animal popped up and smacked the s*** out of us"

"I don't like this," a third added.

"It’s not the rat's fault that the pigeon got caught by a rodent? That rat earned its dinner and it got the s*** smacked out of it?