Fearless honey badger attacks leopard to defend cub

Posted by Elise Kirsten on 6 February 2019

This is a perfect example of maternal instinct in full force. A female honey badger launched a surprise attack on a leopard that had one of her offspring in its clutches at the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve within the Greater Kruger Park.

Not only did the startled leopard let go of the young honey badger, but it bolted through the thicket with the mother badger hot on its heels in what appears to be a deadly rage.


The event was captured on film by Sahara Wulfsohn, a 28-year-old guide at Kirkmans Kamp in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve. In an interview with Latest Sightings she explains what happened.

‘When we arrived at the scene, Joel pointed out the leopard, which was moving slowly through a tamboti thicket towards us. At this point, I was very excited and grateful at having been given this excellent opportunity to show my guests a real-life leopard.

‘I didn’t notice initially, but there was a young honey badger a few meters away from us, and about 10 meters away from the leopard. When I realized what was about to happen I could hardly believe my eyes!

‘The leopard stalked closer and closer till its nose was practically touching the rear end of the badger. The badger turned around, and I’m sure got the surprise of its life. The leopard launched its attack in a fury of claws and teeth with the small badger fighting bravely and valiantly but not really a match for the leopard. I began filming at this point and then noticed the mother badger running at speed towards the melee and rapidly displacing the leopard.’

Image credit: YouTube

After the attack, the mother dragged the large cub to shelter and safety in a hole in a nearby termite mound, and according to Latest Sightings, ‘the young badger had probably broken its front right leg, but will almost certainly survive thanks to the strength and protection of its mother’.

Featured image: Latest Sightings

Also see: Lion attacks pangolin in the Masai Mara

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