A pride of lions had far from an easy meal when they chose to eat porcupine for lunch, with one unlucky cub getting the point loud and clear.
The pride spotted two of the spiky creatures in the Kalahari Desert in South Africa and decided the slow moving rodents were fair game.
One porcupine certainly dented the pride of one cub, when the big cat was left with one of its quills stuck through its nose.
But the porcupines victory was short lived, with the pride’s alpha male later devouring both rodents.
The encounter was captured by Philip Eglise. He said the lion pride initially consisted of five cubs and two adult females. The group attacked the two porcupines who managed to hold them off for around 15 minutes.
The 38-year-old of Kilndown, Kent, said the porcupines quills ‘are an exceptionally effective defence’. He said rather than firing the quills, porcupines rush backwards into the faces of their attackers which ’causes the quills to become detached’.
He said: ‘This can cause very serious injuries or infections which predators can die from.
‘This happened a couple of times during this particular encounter, and the after-effects of one such attack can be seen where one of the cubs is attempting to remove a quill from its nose.
‘The cub continued to paw at its nose for some time afterwards; it would have surely been very painful.’
Mr Eglise said eventually the porcupines retreated into a bush, which he expected would ‘save them’.
But the pride male then arrived and killed them both.
Mr Eglise said: ‘Sometimes nature feels horribly cruel and unfair to our modern sanitised lives, and to witness such a scene is always emotional.
‘To see two such plucky animals, massively smaller and outnumbered by their attackers, was genuinely difficult to watch and I was hoping the porcupines’ strong defence would eventually win the day.’
Most lions now live in eastern and southern Africa, and their numbers there are rapidly decreasing.