Porcupines spend much of their daylight hours hiding in burrows and prefer to forage under the cover of darkness. As a result, they are rarely seen, except by other nocturnal creatures like leopards. The big cats will sometimes try their luck at turning a prickly rodent into an evening meal, but it's only the most experienced leopards that succeed.

Earlier this year, Gerritt Meyer was travelling through South Africa's Kruger National Park when he happened upon a leopard-porcupine showdown in the middle of a stretch of tarmac. The cat can be seen trailing a Cape porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis), trying in vain to get at the rodent's soft belly. 

Porcupines are equipped with a mass of quills that extend across much of their backs. Contrary to popular belief, they cannot shoot their quills like arrows. Rather, when threatened, they will see off predators by shaking their hollow tail spikes to create an intimidating rattling sound. If the shaking doesn't do the trick, they'll charge backwards at pace, skewering anything that gets in the way.

The defence strategy seemed to work for this porcupine, although we are not sure what happened after the camera stopped rolling. Leopards can be relentlessly persistent and the porcupine's tactics are not full-proof. In the majority of recorded porcupine-vs-leopard altercations, it's the felines that come out on top. Leopards that have mastered the art of porcupine hunting are able to get underneath the sharp spines or secure the animal's head. This cat definitely had the right idea, but it's unclear if it pulled off a successful hunt.