It was the classic David vs. Goliath scenario, except in this case, the boy was represented by a seemingly helpless porcupine and Goliath, by a pride of 17 hungry lions that would have loved to add the quill-bearing rodent to their dinner menu. Fortunately, the struggle ended just like the story, with the lions scurrying away in defeat!
The epic fight that was caught on tape by Lucien Beaumont, a guide at the Londolozi Game Reserve in Mpumalanga, South Africa, took place sometime around October 30th. According to Beaumont, after spending the day lounging at the reserve, the group of cats that included four males, decided it was time to go hunting. They soon appeared to find something of interest and clustered around. Curious, Beaumont drew closer and was surprised to see that the excitement was being caused by a small porcupine.
As the lions scuttled around the rodent, it began to warn the predators to keep their distance by shaking its tail or 'rattle', as it is often called. While most seemed to heed the warning, a couple of brave ones decided to try their luck by nudging closer. Instead of getting intimidated, the porcupine charged backwards and ensured that its quills, which are equipped with micro-barbs hooked on to the face or paws of each of the cats, causing them to back away in a hurry. Beaumont says that this is how all porcupines defend themselves and the myth that they "shoot" quills at their predators is just a misconception.
Realizing that they were no match for this small but formidable opponent, the lions soon backed off, though one did seem to look back wistfully, at what could have been a tasty meal.
Resources: http://blog.londolozi.com, huffingtonpost.com