When lions attack porcupines, humans suffer unexpected consequences
The first study of lion-porcupine interactions shows the spiny creatures can kill or seriously injure the big cats, with surprising impacts.
In 1965, the “man-eater of Darajani” became famous after an article in Outdoor Life featured the lion’s attack on a Kenyan hunter. He wasn’t the only one—a deepening drought made the big cats desperate for prey, and there were lion attacks on other people in southern Kenya that year. But there was something curious about the Darajani lion. After he was killed, it was discovered the lion had a porcupine quill sticking out of his nose.
In a recent investigation, led by Julian Kerbis Peterhans, a researcher at Chicago’s Roosevelt University, scientists examined this lion’s carcass and found that the quill penetrated more than six inches into the cat’s snout, nearly piercing its brain. The quill is almost certainly the