When thinking about some of the fiercest animals in the world, your mind might wander to apex predators but one little furry creature should be at the top of the list and that’s the honey badger. Don’t be fooled by its adorable look, this animal is a fighter that has been known to take on other wild animals that are up to five times its size.
What they are:
These little mammals are considered omnivores but the truth is that they’ll eat anything from smaller mammals to insects and fruits. They’re technically part of the weasel family and are related to skunks, ferrets and otters. Their name is derived from their love of eating honey and honeybee larvae.
What they do:
They hold the infamous title bestowed on them by the Guiness Book Of World Records of being the ‘World’s Most Fearless Creature’ because of their behaviour. Though only standing at 23-28cm high and 55-77cm long, they are known to fight lions, porcupines and any other animal that takes it on. It has also been reported attacking buffalos, wildebeest and waterbuck, aiming for the genitals and ultimately killing the animals due to blood loss. Another thing they’re known to do is attack and eat snakes, often unbothered by their prey’s venom. What might add to their willingness to go for bigger or more dangerous animals is their thick fur and skin that deters bites and penetration. Plus, their skin is rather loose which helps the honey badger manoeuvre while being attacked, allowing it to retaliate. Furthermore, its large claws, strong jaw and sharp teeth are its main line of defence, they’re able to inflict quite a bit of damage with these weapons.
- Much like the skunk, they have an anal gland that can be emptied out to mark territory but also to deter predators.
- They’ll eat anything – scorpions, mice, snakes, fruits, roots, birds, larvae and even try scavenge some meat from a kill done by a larger animal.
- They are active both day and night, but most likely choose the latter to avoid humans and other predators.
- When attacked, they are willing to fight to the death.
- They’re not too fussy when it comes to choosing a place to live, as long as it’s not too dry or too wet, they’re good.
- They seem to have a slight immunity to snake bites as well as bee and scorpion stings.
- Their teeth and jaw are so powerful that they’re able to break the shell of a tortoise.
- The honey badger is small but very smart and has been witnessed using tools when attempting to escape captivity.
Want to see these cool creatures? Book a stay at Yingwe lodge and go exploring in the Kruger National Park.