Don’t let the endearing word ‘honey’ fool you if you come across this Badger in the wild, as they are fierce, determined, tough and intelligent animals. In fact, they are named as the world’s most fearless animal because of their tough attitude.
Some say they are nasty by nature but they are not nasty, you have to be strong in nature to survive and they just going about their badgering business. One thing you could admire from them is that they are 100% courageous and don’t back down in times of stress and pressure. Their nickname “World’s Most Fearless Animal” isn’t just for show, in fact, they are even known to stand and face lions and hyenas, when every other species would run for the hills!
The average shoulder height of 12 inches and an average weight of 12.5 kilograms, they are mostly black, with a white or grey fur running from their head to the back. They have a stinky fluid stored in glands at the back of their tails which they secrete in defense and for marking territory. The honey badger’s skin is thick and tough around the neck and shoulders that can withstand bee stings and predator bites. They are also gifted with very strong claws, perfect for effortless digging.
Honey badgers are not friendly, they live mostly solitary lives and only approach other honey badgers to mate. They are primarily nocturnal, so they come out at night time but they can be active during the day depending on the activities of other predators and scarcity of food. Ideally, a Honey Badger would spend it’s day resting while curled up into a ball to protect themselves. They are territorial and invasive; they don’t care how big the opponent is as they are always ready to pick a fight to defend or invade other territories.
They use their strong claws to dig dens to rest but if they are lazy in doing so, they invade other dens such as dens of aardvarks or tunnels of foxes and would not give any care about any other species as long as they could rest.
They are omnivorous and are known to eat about anything from birds, to reptiles, to mammals, to fruits and plants. But what they really love to do is to raid beehives and eat the honey and honeybee larvae. The thick skin around the neck and shoulders I mentioned early will protect them well from the painful bee stings.
It is because of this sweet tooth that they are also called the “Honey Eater of the Cape”.
Aside from being prey for larger carnivorous animals that they are ready to fight anytime, the main threat for them is humans. They get shot by farmers because they are considered pests in the fields due to their foraging habits. They are one of the mortal enemies of beekeepers because they tend to eat all the honey in bee farms. They are also being hunted for their meat because they are considered bushmeat by other locals and because they are also used for traditional medicine.
Overall, honey badgers are living organisms that have feelings, needs, and wants. Disrupting and not protecting animals whether they are beneficial to mankind or not would cause an imbalance to our ecosystem.
If you want to learn more about wildlife, travelling to Africa and have a chance to encounter the extraordinary Honey Badger, send us a message at Africa Wild Trails today. We’ll tell you all about how you can plan your adventure!