In video shot by Jaco De Swardt and posted recently by the wildlife site Latest Sightings, the leopard casually grooms itself as the porcupine watches nearby on the road in Kruger National Park.
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 tension escalates and the leopard eventually abandons nonchalance and ᴀɢɢʀᴇssɪᴠᴇʟʏ paws at the critter. The porcupine hisses and jabs a needle right through the leopard’s paw, leaving the cat licking its ᴡᴏᴜɴᴅ while the prickly critter saunters off.
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 ᴡᴏᴜɴᴅs, 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.
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, 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.