Wild Fact #724 – The World Record Holder – Honey Badger

Honey Badger FactsYesterday I promised that we would be leaving the ocean to learn about a nice terrestrial animal. I am a man of my word so today we are going to learn about one of the most fierce animals that exists on land, the Honey Badger. This member of the mustelidae family (weasel family) can be found throughout Africa and in parts of south and western Asia including Pakistan and Iraq. I know they may look cute and cuddly but keep reading to find out just how wrong that statement is.

The Honey Badger has incredibly tough skin with a coat described as “hog-like”.  Not only do they have cool skin but they also have powerful jaws and front claws that would put X-Men’s Wolverine character to shame.  Although these little guys only weigh up to 14 kg (30 lbs) they are designed to be fierce.  It is not uncommon to hear stories about the vicious behaviour of the Honey Badger. For example, one such story describes how three Honey Badgers took the kill away from three sub-adult and four half-grown lions. Math may not be my strong suit but according to that story, 3 Badgers took on 7 lions and won. That is impressive.

Honey Badger – Wikimedia

As you may have guessed these animals are deadly carnivores and always seem to be on the hunt for their next meal. They are even known for eating the larvae of African Honey Bees (you know the ones that can kill people). Obviously to do this the Badger needs to rip open their hive and I would think endure quite a few stings from a very deadly insect.  I am guessing this is why they are called Honey Badgers. When not after the young Honey Bees the Honey Badger will hunt a variety of other animals including porcupines, meerkats, insects, snakes, young gazelles and even smaller crocodiles. It is not just their pure vicious nature and muscular jaws that makes the Honey Badger such a great predator. They are also very intelligent animals and one of the few known to have used tools to its benefit.  In one instance a Honey Badger was observed rolling a log over to the entrance of a cave where he stood on the log to capture a Kingfisher fledgling that was stuck up there.  I wonder what was going through the little birds mind when he saw this fierce predator rolling a log to his cave.  It actually reminds me of an old Tweety and Sylvester skit, only “Sylvester” wins in this scenario.

Honey Badger Fast Fact – Believe it or not the Honey Badger is actually listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the “World’s Most Fearless Creature”. This does make sense since the Honey Badger does not know the meaning of fear and will attack anything no matter how big or strong the opposition might be. You just have to love that type of ferocity.

Before you go, I highly recommend you watch the 3 minute clip below.  This video will highlight exactly how vicious and fearless the Honey Badger truly is.  There is no doubt in my mind that this animal deserves respect.

  • http://www.rnsane.blogspot.com Carmen Henesy

    This was such an interesting report and video on the honey badger. I cannot believe he is so strong and hardy as to survive a cobra’s bite and continue onward!

    • http://www.wild-facts.com Nathan

      I thought the exact same thing, Carmen.

      When I first watched the video I felt sad for the Honey Badger since I thought there was no way he was going to survive the cobra’s bite. Of course I felt no remorse for the nasty snake :)

      These animals are definitely one of the toughest animals that I know about. They are also now one of my favourites.

      • Anonymous

        @Nathan, man that honey badger is very tough animal

        • http://www.wild-facts.com Nathan

          It sure is. Definitely one of the toughest animals I know about.

  • http://www.wild-facts.com/?fcsite=13561613478689945513&fcprofile=00193588049124844408 Comment1

    I heard somewhere that when they attack or defend themselves from larger animals, they aim for the testicles. I don’t know if it’s true, but so long as I’m not involved I hope it is.

    • http://www.wild-facts.com Nathan

      You are absolutely correct, Comment1. I didn’t know how to bring up this topic gently in my post. I also couldn’t write about it without cringing the whole time. It was thought to be a myth that the Honey Badger would go for the “private areas”, however, recently there as been some evidence of them attacking the males most prized possession. If you ask me that is just fighting dirty.

    • James DENHOLM

      This line of attack is well documented in zoological studies. Going straight for the testicles of males and the nipples of females — you can imagine the damage (!!) — is the reason why the honey badger is avoided and so feared by larger predators. Even hyenas are wary of tangling with the beast. It is usually the younger, and therefore inexperienced carnivores who try their luck … NOT a good idea.
      In the 1950’s there was a writer/journalist called Robert RUARK. He covered the Mau Mau troubles (Kikuyu tribe) in Kenya as Foreign Correspondent for the NEW YORK TIMES. He wrote several books incorporating those times — ‘Something of Value’ / ‘UHURU’ etc. — and safaris into the ‘bush’.
      One of his books was entitled — ‘The HONEY BADGER’ — you would expect it to be about the animal … ???
      It is actually a ‘review (?) / critique (?) / on the ‘mores’ (L.) and/or habits of American womanhood …

  • Tay,Cam,Clay

    We all watched the video, Tay and I enjoyed it while Camryn made snake hissing noises.
    Awesome animals.

    • http://www.wild-facts.com Nathan

      Thanks for suggesting the Honey Badger for Wild Facts! I do appreciate all of your great animal suggestions. I would have loved to seen Camryn making hissing noise…lol!

      I too am really impressed with the Honey Badger. It definitely ranks high on the list of most impressive animals.

  • Cthulhu

    Forget the Honey Badger! The Golden Eagle is the most fearless animal of all time. Even Honey Badgers fear them!

    • http://www.wild-facts.com Nathan

      I saw the post on Cracked.com about the Golden Eagle and the Honey Badger. That was pretty impressive.

      The giant bird of prey has just as much audacity as the fierce Honey Badger.

      Thanks for stopping by Wild Facts.

  • Docmarkc

    Just FYI… The snake was not a cobra, but was a puff adder. A cobra bite would not have been survivable as its venom is a neurotoxin as opposed to a puff adder which has more of a hemotoxin like a rattlesnake.

    • http://www.wild-facts.com Nathan

      Thanks Docmarkc!

      You are absolutely right. I did say “cobra” in my comment, didn’t I.

      I am impressed with your knowledge of venomous snakes. Thanks for clearing things up and for visiting Wild Facts.

  • Tj

    oh my god, Honey Badgers are the Jack Bauers of the animal kingdom.. the bit at the end with the snake, couldn’t stop laughing at the pure audacity of the guy, taking a snake’s lunch right from his mouth, eating it, then killing and eating the peeved snake, getting bit, passing out, waking up and continue eating the damn snake.. then go find another greasy snake and eat it.. what a gangsta!!

    • http://www.wild-facts.com Nathan

      hahahhaa… The Jack Bauer of the animal kingdom…that made me laugh out loud.

      You are right about their audacity. There is no question the Honey Badger doesn’t care about anything. He does what he wants…except in the case of the Golden Eagle.

      Thanks for stopping by Wild Facts.

  • VictorMaximillianStGeorge

    Fears everything except the Golden Eagle, that is. Seriously, that bird is the one thing in this world that gives less damns than the honey badger!

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  • http://wildbass darek

    i cant belive a animal could survive a cobra bite and go on

  • http://yahoo.com sara wheatley

    A honey badger can survive ablack mamba bite.

  • Valerie

    Post more stuff! That has been my favorite animal since the beginning of the year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE IT!!!!!

  • jacob

    as impressive as the honey badger there are 4 animals/insects that are more impressive id say

    number one is the pistol shrimp it is able to shoot bubbles that when they explode reach temperatures close to the sun/a star i know this sounds like something from sci fi but if you do your research you will find out its true there’s actually interesting science behind it

    two i would have to say is the Californian salamander also called AXOLOTL it can heal just about anything i think the things that are confirmed are it can heal 1/3rd to maybe half of its brain if its removed as well as heal heart cells as well as the usual for most lizards which is limbs and tail it may also heal more stuff like organs but i have no i have no idea if this is confirmed

    third would half to be the californian mite (i forget its other names ) this bug can run the equivalent of (meaning if it was human or even cheeta size ) 1300 miles per hour making it the fastest living life form in the world

    and fourth would be the peacock mantis shrimp it has the ability Punches at speeds of over 50 feet (15 m/s) which is the same velocity 22 caliber rifle

    • jacob

      just realized i made some typos at the beginning and have no idea how to edit comment