You are lucky, to say the least, if you happen to catch a brief glimpse of a pangolin while on safari. Even professional safari guides often lament the fact that they’ve never stumbled upon one of these extremely rare and elusive nocturnal creatures. So imagine the delight that aspiring professional photographer Holly Cheese felt when she came across five hungry lions attempting to make a meal of a pangolin in Kenya’s Maasai Mara in 2013. Pangolins are protected by hard, spiny scales and roll into a ball when threatened. Cheese told the website Express that she returned to the same spot the next morning and it appeared that the pangolin somehow managed to escape from the harrowing situation.

Get the whole story and see a few more of Holly’s images of the encounter here.

lions trying to eat a pangolin

Five lions attempted to make a meal of this pangolin. Photo by Holly Cheese.