10 cool things about the honey badger

The honey badger was named the World’s Most Fearless Creature by the Guinness Book of World Records. This animal is so tough, he has a South African military fighting vehicle named after him – The Ratel (honey badger in Afrikaans). Let’s find out what else is cool about the honey badger.

1. Clever Houdini

The honey badger is indeed a really clever creature and has a mastermind when it comes to planning an escape from an enclosure. They’re known to use implements, such as rakes and spades, and natural objects like branches, to help them get away. They can even open intricate latches. Nothing stands in the badger’s way.

2. Tough, tougher, toughest

Not only are they clever, they are also extremely tough and fearless. They will fight predators and prey to the death. Their attitude is so large, they’ll even attack lions, but then, they have a loose and a really thick skin of about 6mm around the neck to help them survive. This thick skin allows the honey badger to turn around within his skin and counter-attack the predator.

3. Claws and teeth

Armed with a mighty set of claws and an amazingly strong jaw, the honey badger claws and bites his way to or through just about anything. Apparently, his teeth are so strong that he can bite through a tortoise’s shell. He also uses his claws to open up burrows to get to prey.

4. Show me the honey

True to his name, the honey badger loves honey, and in particular, the larvae found in the beehive. To get to the honey and larvae, the badger uses his claws and teeth to break through the honeycomb. And of course, bees sting him, but he is immune to bee stings. His thick skin also helps to deter the stings.

5. Hungry like a badger

The honey badger has a very high metabolism and is always on the prowl for food. He is not a picky eater and although he likes meat, this omnivore will eat anything from small rodents, reptiles, eggs, fruit and vegetables, and will even steal carcasses from predators. The honey badger is known for being a snake slayer and will eat even poisonous scorpions and snakes, like black mambas and cobras.

6. Immune to venom

Snakes are just one item on the honey badger’s prey list. The fearless honey badger loves snakes and will catch them. He is immune, or has a high level of immunity to certain snake venoms. When a venomous snake bites the honey badger, he will literally ‘sleep’ off the venom, which may last a couple of hours, wake up and then merely finish off his snake meal.

7. Fighting spirit

He simply doesn’t know the meaning of giving up. He will continue on his mission until he has achieved his goal. Whether it is to sniff out food, fight off predators to death, or simply to survive in nature, this creature uses his brain and brawn to get what he wants.

8. Adaptable living

In his natural habitat, the honey badger is most active during the day. But when he shares his habitat with people, he tends to become nocturnal. He’s not picky about the place he calls home, and you’ll find honey badgers all over, from the outskirts of the Namib and Sahara deserts to rainforests.

9. ‘Skunky’ cologne

The honey badger is related to skunks, and one attribute they share is the smell they release to ward off predators and enemies. The smell comes from a gland at the base of the tail – a pouch that is emptied to mark their territories. Luckily, the foul smell from the honey badger doesn’t last as long as the skunk’s.

10. Territorial

This solitary creature’s territory sometime overlaps with his neighbours’, but he will ensure that his territory is clearly marked and will only give up all the bravado for his lady friend for a short period of time. Although the honey badger looks cute, he is not – he is a grumpy guy who will fight to the end.