Alter-cat-ion: Porcupine sees off leopard

2012-04-16 00:00

A HUNGRY leopard in the Kruger National Park was the source of much mirth for tourists when it tried but failed to make a meal of a porcupine near the Lower Sabie rest camp last Sunday.

Anja Barnard from Pretoria told how her family spotted the leopard prowling near the road just after 7 am.

“Then we saw it crawl into a drainage pipe that ran under the road.

“The next moment a porcupine shot out the other end of the pipe, with the leopard hot on its heels.”

She said the leopard was initially cautious, playing a cat and mouse game with the circling porcupine.

Another tourist who also witnessed the altercation was Graeme Farnworth from Durban.

He said the angry porcupine stormed the leopard several times, causing it to jump high into the air to stay out of reach of the dangerous quills.

After several minutes, with both animals growling and the porcupine rattling its needle-sharp quills, the big cat withdrew.

“The porcupine then ran across the road and disappeared into the bush. A few minutes later the leopard followed and we did not see them again,” said Barnard.

She said the same leopard, which they recognised from a noticeable cut in its ear, the previous day stole a chunk of meat from pack of wild dogs and nearly got bitten in the process.

She said the dogs were eating an impala carcass on the same road some two kilometres from where the porcupine incident took place.

“The leopard took the pack of wild dogs by surprise, storming into their midst and managing to grab a chunk of meat — and then had to run for its life to make it to a high tree as the outraged pack chased it.

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