This fearless mongoose held his ground against a curious pride of lions. Just listen to him growl!

Despite being under two feet tall, the aggressive mongoose growled at the felines and even bit one on the nose. The shocking encounter was documented in 2011 but has just been released.

The confrontation was filmed at Masaai Mara National Park, Kenya, by photographer Jérôme Guillaumot. Guillaumot has made 20 expeditions to Africa, and this was the first time he had seen this type of behavior.

He told National Geographic, “Of course I was sure that the mongoose would not escape this fight. As always in this type of situation, [it’s] a mix of excitement to [see] such a rare behavior and grief/empathy for the expected death of the small one.

But what’s “most extraordinary … is the [fierce] defense of the mongoose and how its determination made [it] possible to face [its] opponents and eventually escape.”

Mongooses are extremely adaptable weasel-like creatures known for their agility and lightning fast reflexes. They protect themselves by attacking with their sharp, non-retractable claws. This particular mongoose may have been protecting its pups nearby.