Honey badgers – famous for their never-back-down attitudes and general, snarly viciousness – are not the sort of creatures you'd want to antagonise. They've been recorded taking down pythons, feeding on porcupines and stealing dessert from gawking campers. But leopards are famously ambitious hunters that seem to enjoy a challenge, so if any predator can take on one of these black-and-white ferocity carriers it would be a leopard.

While enjoying a holiday in South Africa's Kruger National Park Matthew Leigh and his fiancé Thejal Mathura happened upon a very loud brawl between these two hardy creatures and captured some of it on camera:

After enjoying an afternoon game drive, Leigh and Mathura were rushing back to their accommodation at Biyamiti rest camp in the southern section of the reserve. Self-driving at night is not permitted in the Kruger Park and arriving at camp after dark can result in a hefty fine. Just 500 metres from the camp gate with only ten minutes to spare, the couple spotted a leopard in the midst of a tussle with a honey badger. 

"We were in utter shock and couldn’t believe that we were seeing something so rare right next to our car," they told Latest Sightings who recently shared the footage. The tussle continued for a minute or so and it appeared as though the leopard had the upper hand. "In the end, we think the leopard was uncomfortable with us being so close and picked up the badger and moved off about 10m into the bush. We could still hear everything and the honey badger's cries were getting slower, quieter, and more laboured."

It's unclear how the battle ended, and a honey badger should never be ruled out, but it appears as though the leopard was the likely victor. "One thing that the video can’t get across is the smell," Leigh recalls. "It was right by the car so it was an overpowering mixture of blood and honey badger’s anal defence secretions. It was quite nauseating."

The leopard did appear to have suffered a wound to its ear, though it's unclear if that was the result of the brawl with the badger. Reports of a leopard with a missing ear – an injury sustained in a territorial fight with another male – had come in from the Biyamiti area suggesting that this could have been the same cat.