A honey badger, known for its aggressive nature. Photo: iStock

Honey badgers have a reputation for being fearless and aggressive, especially when it comes to defending their young. But one mother took it to a new level when her cub was attacked by a leopard at the Kruger National Park in South Africa, with spectacular results.

The leopard followed the scent of the cub until its nose was nearly touching the rear of the small animal and then pounced. The cub, left alone for a short while, tried to fight back but was clearly outmatched.

Sahara Wulfsohn, a 28-year-old guide at the Kirkmans Kamp in Sabi Sands Game Reserve, recorded what happened next on a camera, Getaway reported.

Hearing the cub’s cries, its mother scurried from some brush and flew at the leopard’s neck, throwing the bigger animal off balance. The startled leopard scrambled to its feet and ran off with the mother in hot pursuit.

The mother then dragged her cub to safety in a nearby termite mound. It reportedly suffered a broken right leg but is expected to survive.

A carnivorous animal, the honey badger relies on a thick skin and belligerent attitude to get itself out of scraps. Other badgers have been filmed taking on lions and snakes, and they will attack humans if provoked.

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