This leopard must be really hungry. You’d have to be to take on a prickly porcupine for a long shot at a meal.
Remind me to never complain about how hard it is to open a packet of chips, because in order to score a meal during hard times in the savannah, this determined leopard has to attack a porcupine covered in razor-sharp spines.
In this video out of Kruger National Park in South Africa, the big cat seems immediately familiar with the danger present at the top of a porcupine, and elects to try and attack its exposed belly instead. Watch as he sneaks in and claws desperately before retreating to pluck quills out of his paw.
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At times, the leopard appears to look away into the distance, almost as if it is contemplating whether this whole endeavor is really worth the trouble. The porcupine, for its part, seems either injured or utterly confident in its natural defensive tools, because it makes no apparent attempt to escape the leopard.
Never underestimate the power to try and try again. After several unsuccessful attempts that leave it repeatedly licking its wounds, the leopard finally sinks its jaws into an exposed area and drags its kill off into the bush.
In the wild, this leopard was risking more than just a few sore paws. Embedded spines from a porcupine can cause infection, leading to decreased mobility or even death from starvation. Wild Africa can certainly be brutal.
This leopard came out ahead though, and taught us all a lesson in the process. It just goes to show that if you really want something and are willing to pay the price, you’ll more often that not be triumphant in the end.