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Two adult porcupines fought back a determined leopard trying to grab hold of their two babies in a dramatic video filmed in South Africa’s Kruger National Park. The parents employed a well-coordinated defence strategy to shield their young as the leopard attacks.

The porcupines are making distress calls while the leopard crouches low to the ground and paws repeatedly to try and reach one of the young. At one point the cat gets a leg full of quivers and can be seen trying to pull them out with his mouth.

The leopard persists despite his injury and at one point tries to grab hold of an adult quill and lunge through the pair. It’s fascinating seeing the porcupine’s defences in action. Finally, after a few minutes the leopard has had enough and retreats.

Mfundo Nyambi filmed the moment and shared it with Latest Sightings. Viewers have been fascinated with the encounter.

One viewer commented on YouTube, “That’s amazing, so coordinated and fearless, and even the little ones knew the gameplan.”

“Great sighting,” commented another person. “Keep in mind, that’s a really complex defence they’ve got. That leopard was attacking from all sides with lightning quickness and if they didn’t cooperate, one of the babies would have gotten nixed.”

“It looks to me that the mother provides the actual defense of the infants, pivoting when the cat comes to her side and then letting the babies run through, all the while staying at her front,” observed one keen-eyed viewer. “They are literally never exposed to the big cat.”

Someone else elaborated, “If mom is the shield, then dad is the sword. He is the one meeting the leopard head on and getting right in its face. In other words, he is forcing the leopard to make quick decisions, while mom is sorting the defence out.”

“What a fascinating sighting,” said another person. They too were impressed by the parents’ coordination, but also thought of the leopard. “I hope the leopard is going to be okay, I know they can die from encounters with porcupines and their spines.”

As much as we are relieved that the baby porcupines are all right, we too hope the leopard survives. All in all, a fascinating glimpse into the lives of these incredible animals.

This content was originally published here.

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Michael Bourdon

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