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  • Richard Conniff writes about behavior, in humans and other animals, on two, four, six, and eight legs, plus the occasional slither.

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Leopard Attacks Honey Badger, Loses

Posted by Richard Conniff on September 26, 2014

Yesterday the leopard seemed to have the world by the ass.  But today a leopard meets a honey badger, a quarter of its size and ten times as mean. World now has leopard by ass.  Circle of Life and all that.

This sequence also comes from Botswana, by way of Dutch photograher Vincent Grafhorst.  The text is from The Mail Online (Caveat:  I am doubtful about the attribution of that quote to Mark Twain):

An unlucky leopard got more than it bargained for after trying to catch and eat a honey badger.

These pictures show the leopard lamenting its overconfidence when the smaller beast lived up to Mark Twain’s old adage: ‘It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.’

After spotting the badger from a distance, the leopard managed to rush down inside its burrow and drag it outside for what it thought was going to be an easy meal.

But despite catching its prey by the neck, the tough mammal managed to wriggle free thanks to its loose skin.

David and Goliath: An unlucky leopard

got more than it bargained for after trying to catch and eat a honey badger in Botswana, Africa

Nip: Captured on camera by Dutch wildlife photographer, Vincent Grafhorst, 40, in Botswana, Africa, the leopard decided to give up on its lunch after receiving some nasty injuries.

However, instead of running away from its attacker, the animal, famed for its ferocity, manages to land some vicious bites and scratches of its own.

Captured on camera by Dutch wildlife photographer, Vincent Grafhorst, 40, in Botswana, Africa, the leopard decided to give up on its lunch after receiving some nasty injuries.

Vincent said: ‘All of a sudden the leopard stood still as she noticed a honey badger foraging, a mere 20-30 metres away from her.

‘The badger noticed her and the leopard charged, it disappeared into the nearest burrow for safety but the leopard dragged it out with its head in her jaws.’

Face-ff: The two combatants bare their teeth during a lull in the frenzied fight. Neither the photographer nor his guide had ever seen a fight like it

Face-off: The two combatants bare their teeth during a lull in the frenzied fight. Neither the photographer nor his guide had ever seen a fight like it

The honey badger was able to get free thanks to its loose skin, which allows it to twist and escape the grasp of predators

The honey badger was able to get free thanks to its loose skin, which allows it to twist and escape the grasp of predators

Pick on someone your own size: The honey badger latches onto the leopard's jaw. 

Pick on someone your own size: The honey badger latches onto the leopard’s jaw.

‘She was taken by surprise that her intended prey fought back and hurt her seriously, it was clear she had no idea what she was getting herself into’

He added: ‘A ferocious, super fast fight was what followed.

‘Badgers have thick skin which is also very loose and allows them to twist inside their skin when grabbed and are also armed with a dangerous set of teeth as well as enormous claws.

‘The badger did not seem injured but the leopard clearly was.

‘It lay down at the same spot where the fight happened and began licking the wounds on both of her legs for many minutes, before she moved on.

‘She was taken by surprise that her intended prey fought back and hurt her seriously, it was clear she had no idea what she was getting herself into.

‘Neither myself or our experienced guide have ever seen such an altercation, it was a very rare moment.’

One Response to “Leopard Attacks Honey Badger, Loses”

  1. Here’s a video of a leopard taking on a python: http://dailypicksandflicks.com/2014/09/25/leopard-fights-a-huge-python-video/

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