We all know that honey badgers think they are the boss of the bush… Well, this mother honey badger surely is! She had no second thoughts charging in on a hungry leopard to save her baby.
This incredible and unusual interaction was filmed by Sahara Wulfsohn, a 28-year-old guide at Kirkmans Kamp in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve in the Greater Kruger National Park.
Sahara tells LatestSightings.com about the sighting: “Sabi Sands is an incredible reserve with excellent sightings of Leopard
On our drive, we had seen a few elephants but I was really looking forward to showing my group of 5 guests a Leopard. When Joel, one of the other rangers called in that he had found a female leopard not far from the lodge, I quickly responded to the sighting.
At the time, I joked with my guests that we needn't have driven so far from the lodge, and could have simply sat on the tea deck to view animals from there
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 im sure got the surprise of its life. The Leopard launched its attack in a fury of claw and tooth with the small badger fighting bravely and valiantly but not really a match for the Leopard, I was filming at this point and then noticed the mother Badger running at speed towards the melee and rapidly displaced the Leopard.
The sighting ended with the mother Badger dragging her large cub by the scruff of the neck into a convenient and nearby hole in a termite mound. The young badger had probably broken its front right leg, but will almost certainly survive thanks to the strength and protection of its mother
A Leopard alone, even sleeping, is a rare and wonderful sighting, but this was beyond belief. When I got back to the lodge, the other guides were all amazed at the sighting and the video and pictures which I paraded around the rangers room. (Some jealousy I'm sure!)
For someone else who finds oneself at a sighting like this, a good idea is to start filming early and get a nice and stable rest/mounting arrangement for the camera
It was easily the sighting of a lifetime, I cannot imagine having another opportunity like this, as both Honey Badger and Leopard are very rare to see.
Just to see one or the other would have been a great sighting but this was incredible. Honey Badger do not normally form part of the diet of Leopard, as they are renowned for their fierce temperament and savage fighting ability. Badgers are even known to displace other larger predators like Lions. The reason this Leopard attempted to take on the honey badger was her young age (2 years) and lack of experience. She will have been taught a lesson she won’t soon forget!