Porcupine parents protect babies from hungry leopard

February 23, 2023 • 1:30 pm

As NBC News says before the final (and always upbeat) segment of their evening program: “There’s good news tonight!” The good news today is that a mother an father porcupine band together in this vieo to save their two babies from a hungry leopard.

Note how the parents work together, not only keeping themselves between the leopard and the babies, but by keeping their formidable quills facing the leopard.

This was filmed in Kruger National Park in South Africa, a place I’m planning to visit. And here are the YouTube notes:

A family of porcupines fighting a leopard in an attempt to save their two young. Who will emerge victorious? Mfundo Nyambi, a 31-year-old field guide in the Kruger National Park, was fortunate enough to witness this entire sighting on foot. He shared the incredible moment and sighting with LatestSightings.com.

“As a guide in the Kruger National Park, I have had the privilege of witnessing some incredible wildlife sightings over the years. However, one particular experience stands out. I was preparing to take a group of guests on a bush walk. We had just left Crocodile Bridge Rest Camp when one of my guests informed me of a leopard that had been seen in the area earlier that morning. With a slight bit of anticipation, we headed in that direction.”

“After searching for a short while. We decided it was best to leave the leopard and instead prepare for our morning walk. I stopped the vehicle on the roadside and informed the guests that it was safe for them to disembark from the vehicle. Whilst I was conducting the pre-trail brief on the safety and procedures of the walk, a deep sound echoed from the culvert that was a few meters from us.”

“On the road in front of me, a porcupine mother emerged from the culvert with two youngsters. They were shortly followed by the male porcupine. Then a leopard! The same leopard we had been searching for that morning had now found us and was in the middle of a hunt. I hurried my guest to the safety of the vehicle and watched on in awe.”

Porcupines are typically mute creatures and are not frequently observed vocalizing. The deep grunt that was audible was a definite warning of danger and a sign that the porcupines were under the stress of some kind.

“At first, I thought the leopard would quickly overpower the porcupines. As I watched the scene unfold, I was in awe of their determination and bravery. The porcupine couple worked together, using their sharp quills as a weapon against the leopard. The leopard tried to pounce, but each time it did, the porcupines would turn their backs and raise their quills. Successfully deterring the leopard from attacking.”

“The parents made sure that the two youngsters were always in the middle and out of reach of the leopard. After a few minutes, the leopard eventually gave up and retreated into the bush. The porcupine family was able to continue on their way, safe and unharmed.” Moments like these serve as a reminder that we share this beautiful land with a diverse and fascinating array of wildlife. It’s up to us to protect and preserve it for future generations.

10 thoughts on “Porcupine parents protect babies from hungry leopard

  1. Remarkable. And that, children, is how we keep ourselves alive!

    But, of course, there’s bad news tonight, too! Unhappy leopard is hungry and full of sore spots.

  2. You share such interesting videos! I hope the kitty doesn’t go hungry, but I was happy to see that he wasn’t able to make a dinner of the babies.

  3. Wow! It’s interesting how the parents oriented their business ends toward the intruder. Amazing footage.

  4. The leopard note the observers towards the end so we cannot say that the porcupines won the day alone. You clearly see the leopard staring at the camera before s/he/it/tomato goes away..

  5. The porcupine parents did an excellent job of defending their porcupettes from the leopard; however, if you look closer towards the end of the video it’s most likely that the cameraman that drove the leopard away. The leopard spots the cameraman and looks at him twice before he runs away. We don’t know how this would have turned out without human intervention, (intentional or not).

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