We've said it before and we'll say it again (and again and again), honey badgers are remarkably fearless.

Field guide Sahara Wulfsohn captured this astonishing footage while on a recent safari in South Africa's Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Wulfsohn received word from a fellow ranger that a leopard had been seen near Kirkman's Kamp and – eager to give his guests a glimpse of Africa's most elusive big cat – he pointed his vehicle in the direction of the reported sighting. He arrived on the scene to the sight of leopard stalking slowly through a tamboti thicket. 

"I didn't notice initially, but there was a young honey badger a few metres away from us, and about 10 metres away from the leopard. When I realised what was about to happen I could hardly believe my eyes," Wulfsohn told Latest Sightings.

With the sort of careful determination that only leopards possess, the cat slinked closer to the badger until it was almost touching its prey. "The leopard launched its attack in a fury of claw and tooth," Wulfsohn recalls. The young badger put up a fight, but was no match for the much larger predator who pinned its quarry to the ground and looked set to dispatch it. But before it had the chance, mom charged to the rescue. With typical badger boldness, she noisily launched herself at the big cat sending it scurrying for safety.

Honey badgers are sometimes called ratels – derived from the Afrikaans word for rattle – and this boisterous mama badger certainly lives up to the title. Her daring rescue mission proved successful and the sighting ended with the mother dragging her adolescent kit into a nearby burrow. According to Wulfsohn, "the young badger had probably broken its front right leg, but will almost certainly survive thanks to the strength and protection of its mother."

The honey badger's relatively small size and nocturnal habits make it difficult to spot in the wild, so catching a glimpse of one of these crafty carnivores is a special treat (extra special if you are lucky enough to witness a badger showing off the legendary ferocity that has become the stuff of viral videos). In addition to their undeniable pluckiness, badgers also have very thick, loose-fitting skin which is tough for predators to penetrate. 

While it's rare to see a badger on the losing end of a predatory brawl, they do sometimes succumb to larger attackers. While on safari in South Africa's Kruger National Park earlier this year, photographer Sheila Grobbelaar came across a Nile crocodile with a fresh badger carcass clasped firmly in its jaws:

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