Jackals and porcupine, Bharatpur

Valmik Thapar


Chosen as 'Picture of the Week'

Porcupines can be a prickly mouthful! While it is well known that tigers and leopards prey on them - sometimes to their great discomfort - it is not known whether canids do too.

On 15th October 2016 at about noon in Bharatpur National Park in Rajasthan, three jackals were seen by us around a fresh carcass of a porcupine right on the edge of water. They fled, and, try as we could, they did not approach the carcass in our presence. The carcass had injury marks on the neck and foot and a small opening at the rear.

Later, at 5.40 the same evening we found the jackals tugging away and feeding on the carcass. The light was low but the enclosed picture is a unique example of this predation or scavenging and, I believe, a first for Bharatpur.

We believe that the jackals attacked and killed this porcupine, but please comment if any other examples or visual records exist.

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About the author

Valmik Thapar

Valmik Thapar is a naturalist, author, and wildlife television presenter.


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