This hungry leopard had no choice but to admit defeat after picking a fight with a prickly porcupine.
The predator was spotted stalking the spiky rodent in Kruger National Park in South Africa before it decided to attack – a decision it would later regret.
The bizarre battle, which lasted an hour and half, saw the determined leopard take several breaks to remove spines from its paws and lick its wounds, while the brave porcupine refused to back down and simply stood in place defiantly as if to tease its opponent.
The leopard eventually admitted defeat and the pair appeared to call a truce, slinking away together as unlikely partners.
The hungry leopard stalked the porcupine along a road in Kruger National Park, South Africa, before leaping to attack
Unwilling to risk getting too close with its jaws, the leopard swiped and swotted at the prickly rodent but could not find a way past its razor-sharp spines
The battle lasted an hour and a half and took place right in front of several cars, transporting tourists and photographers through the park
Tourists looked on as the leopard persisted but the porcupine simply turned its back and stood its ground
Loose spines began to litter the tarmac as the battle raged on and the leopard’s paws began to bleed
Photographer Mariette Landman, was on holiday in Kruger National Park in north-eastern South Africa when she saw the fiery altercation just after sunrise outside the Satara Campsite.
The 57-year-old from George, South Africa said: ‘This was something I had never seen before.
‘The fight lasted for about 90 minutes and the leopard took three short rests, licking his paws before carrying on with the fight.
‘Afterwards they both just walked away.
‘It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience.’
The leopard tried for over an hour to swipe at the porcupine but was stuck with several of the would-be prey’s spines which drew blood from both front paws
The fight was paused several times as the leopard pulled back to tend to its wound, pulling the spines out with its teeth and licking the wounds clean
The brave porcupine stood its ground, even hanging around the area and refusing to budge when the leopard paused to lick its wounds before going back for more
After 90 minutes of tussling, the pair appeared to call a truce and walked away side by side in what photographer Mariette Landman described as ‘a once in a lifetime experience’
Leopards are found in a wide range of areas including sub-Saharan Africa, Western and Central Asia, Southern Russia, on the Indian subcontinent and in East Asia.
The leopard is known for its opportunistic style of hunting and its versatile diet, which has helped them to survive and adapt to a variety of environments and conditions.
Baboons, hares, rodents, birds, lizards, warthogs, and fish are all on the menu for leopards, and there are many documented cases of leopards chasing down and eating porcupines.
However, it is typically older, more experienced leopards that succeed in the art of porcupine hunting as considerable guile and skill is required to get around or underneath the prey’s spines.
Another confrontation between a leopard and a porcupine was recorded in Kruger National Park in 2019, in which a very similar battle occurred.
Here, the leopard can be seen dropping to the ground and attempting to catch the spiky rodent by getting underneath its spines, although it is not known if this leopard had more success.
At first the leopard struggles to work out how to catch the prickly customer
, who quickly jumped at the opportunity to steal his meal.’