Move over, WWE SmackDown – here comes BWA Safari Showdown!
Tourist Roselyne Kerjosse happened to be in the right place at the right time last month when she captured an incredible wildlife interaction while on a safari in Chobe Park, Botswana, Caters News reports. The up-close footage showed a vicious, three-way fight between a massive python, a resilient honey badger and two persistent jackals — and despite the odds of the match likely going in the jackals’ favour, the results surprisingly proved otherwise.
It appeared the jackals then expected to claim the python as their own after the encounter – clearly as a favour for the rescue – but the honey badger wasn’t so convinced.
Instead, the honey badger began a vicious game of tug-of-war with the jackals as they fought over the limp snake. With the honey badger on one end and a jackal on the other, the wild animals scuffled for the snake, as the second jackal attempted to distract the honey badger by biting him from behind.
But in true honey badger fashion, the animal did not seem to care who or what was in front of him and aggressively fended off the predators, showing off his terrifyingly sharp teeth in the process. To the surprise of the tourists who witnessed the showdown, the resilient honey badger managed to successfully fight off the two jackals and drag the now-dead python toward a bush to be consumed by himself.
According to the Botswana Wildlife Guide, honey badgers are “renowned for their ferociousness, attacking lions and buffalo if feeling threatened” and often hunt snakes and beehives as prey.
The Chobe National Park is one of the best places to see the elusive animal, the guide says. Black-backed jackals are considered to be “opportunistic feeders” that are “often seen around carcasses and kills” and aren’t afraid to “slip in and steal a morsel from a lion kill while the pride is still eating.”
Despite occasionally being the smaller animal in a fight, the jackal is known to “stand its ground against other predators,” which include hyenas and leopards. As for the python, they typically consume small mammals, antelope, warthog, herons and other animals, National Geographic reports. Though the snake lacks venom, it can “kill animals by encircling and literally squeezing the life out of them.”
According to the outlet, the pythons are able to eat these larger animals because of their flexible jaws and skin — their lower jaws are loosely attached to their skulls — which allows them to open their mouths very wide.