In Africa, lions are the undisputed rulers of all they survey—at least until that dominance is actually disputed. Most of the time it is by one of the usual challengers: an old gray elephant, a pack of hyenas, an enraged water buffalo, or any other animal capable enough of intimidating the kings of the African wilds. In this case, however, the challenger is nothing bigger than a six- to nine-pound marsh mongoose. In this video posted to YouTube by Barcroft TV, four female lions find it a difficult task to eat a ferocious mongoose defending its territory.

Marsh mongooses are notorious for their territorial behavior, and they will defend their home to the death against any intruder, even a lion. This critter uses a combination of loud growling, biting, and sheer aggression to disorient its would-be predators. Even after escaping safely back into its burrow, the mongoose does not hesitate to rush back to the fight after a quick breather. The lions finally leave, probably exhausted after the one-sided screaming match. It was lucky for them, as the mongoose decided not to deploy its secret weapon: a foul-smelling liquid stored in the animal’s anal sacs that the mongoose can shoot out at will, not unlike a skunk.

Image screenshot of video by Barcroft TV on YouTube

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