Don't mess with mama, and definitely don't mess with her child — especially when they are honey badgers.

One hungry leopard in South Africa learned this the hard way recently as it zeroed in on a possible meal. In the tense video above, the leopard begins to attack a baby honey badger until it is viciously undone by the cub's mother.

Honey badgers are known to be fearless, but taking on an adult leopard is bold even by their standards. This clash shows how strong their maternal instincts can be.

The incredible interaction was filmed by Sahara Wulfsohn, a guide at Kirkmans Kamp in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve at South Africa's Greater Kruger National Park.

"A Leopard alone, even sleeping, is a rare and wonderful sighting, but this was beyond belief," Wulfsohn tells Latest Sightings. "When I got back to the lodge, the other guides were all amazed at the sighting and the video and pictures which I paraded around the rangers room."

Honey badgers aren't usually part of a leopard's diet due to their savage fighting ability, Wulfsohn adds, but this leopard must have sensed the young badger's age and inexperience.

"She will have been taught a lesson she won’t soon forget," Wulfsohn says.

Ben Bolton looks at everything through a video lens.

Honey badger fights leopard to rescue her baby
Honey badger fights leopard in daring rescue of her baby