Honey Badger

Honey Badger – Take No Shit

An illustration of a honey badger in profile against a purple background with red circles. The honey badger is facing the right, and has a white strope down its back, and a black body. It looks fierce.

Keywords: Come at me. Bring it on. Leave or I’ll make you leave. Standing up for yourself. Your bite is worse than your bark. Anger issues. Take no shit. Aggression. Making it clear you have the power to defeat your enemies. Savagery. You may destroy your relationships, or be careless with those around you.

Description: The honey badger (Mellivora capensis) or the ratel, is a mustelid found in Africa, India, and Southwest Asia through many habitats. Despite their name, they are more similar in appearance to weasels with a long, thick-set body, rather than badgers.

Honey badgers are mainly carnivorous with few predators due to its fierce disposition and thick, loose skin. When unable to escape, they are known for their savagery, fearlessness, and toughness, and can repel lions and hyenas. They will attack horses, cattle or buffalo who come close to their burrows. Their skin is too tough for most insect stings, quills, and animal bites. Their anal pouches are considered so revolting that they may be able to calm bees when they raid hives. They will use burrows made by aardvark and warthogs, as well as emptied termite mounds. They are excellent diggers.

Honey badgers are primarily solitary but may hunt in pairs during the breeding season. They are adaptive and opportunistic hunters, though primarily dig most of their food out of burrows, and raid beehives. They have several vocalisations, including a hoarse ‘khrya-ya-ya’ sound. They can scream, whine, and grunt. Honey badgers are sometimes hunted by leopards, lions, pythons, crocodiles, and hyenas. They can have complicated relationships with humans, hunting poultry and being difficult to deter due to their skin being mostly resistant to spears and machete attacks. They are surplus killers – killing more than they can eat. The honey badger population is considered secure. Captive honey badgers can live for around 24 years.