By Rebecca Lewis @RebeccaSLewis

A CURIOUS leopard was met with a prickly reception as it tried to make a meal out of a porcupine

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Unwary: The leopard was bemused as to how to kill the prey

The hungry cat stalked the spiky prey in the Kruger National Park, South Africa, but seemed bemused as to how to kill it.

It decided to test the waters and extended its claws to the unusual looking creature – but was met with a shock by its sharp quills.

Wolfie van Eck, a 36-year-old system administrator and amateur photographer captured the images on June 13.

He said: “On our way to Lower Sabie from Skukuza we saw this magnificent specimen of a leopard next to the road.

More trouble than its worth? The leopard appears to change its mind

“We caught a glimpse of him shortly before he disappeared into what seemed to be a drainage pipe below the road before we could even get any pictures of him.”

“We looked to the other side of the road hoping that he might pop out the other side and our prayers were answered.

I better get out of here, sharpish! The leopard looks wistfully on at the porcupine walks away

“Out came two porcupines with him in hot pursuit. They decided splitting up would work best and had him struggling to decide which one to pursue first.

“He disappeared into the bush after the first one but must have realized that failure was going to be the only option and then returned rather quickly to the one in the pictures which fortunately for us stayed in the open for a bit.

Beaten: The leopard was left looking hungry as the porcupine had a narrow escape

“He approached his new menu option with care and followed him weighing up his options and made a few weak attempts at it.

Satisfaction: The porcupine lived to tell another day

“I reckon he has been fairly well schooled and decided fast enough that this wasn't going to work. He then just stood back and let it walk off into the sunrise”