Yesterday 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.
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.