Cute as they may seem at face value, the honey badger is a fearless fighter. They are about a meter in length and weigh a mere 12 or so kilograms but don’t let their size let you think that the lack strength or stamina.
The first ranger in the Kruger National Park, James Stevenson-Hamilton recorded not once but twice how he witnessed a Honey Badger attack a Wildebeest and in another incident a Waterbuck, by going for the scrotum. Due to the wounds in both instances, the animals died. Honey Badgers are armed with formidable teeth and claws that make short work of breaking a Tortoise shell. If that is not enough to defend themselves, they can also produce a smelly odour from their anal glands.
Honey Badgers are solitary, predominately nocturnal animals. They feed on a wide variety of foods which include eggs, fruit, honey and also reptiles, insect’s larvae and grubs. Honey Badgers have a close relationship with the Honey Guide Bird that often leads them to the beehives. They can also take down larger animals such as a springhare or even a snake.
The Honey Badger has unbelievably thick skin that cannot be pierced with arrows or spears. Their skin is also very loose, making them capable of literally rotating in their skin. This helps when being attacked as they can turn to face the predator and fight back. When in this predicament they usually attack the eyes of the predator.
Honey Badgers are black underneath but they have course grey hair from their eyes to the base of their tail. Although they have short stout legs and tiny ears, they have massive claws. These they use for digging as they spend time underground. They also use their massive claws as weapons. They spend most of the time on the ground but can climb especially if on the trail of honey. They have an unusual jog-trot way of walking. When on the trail of its prey, they are tireless and will not stop till they have run their prey down.
Honey Badger appears to be immune to bee stings or snake bites. It may not be that they are immune, but rather that the bees or snakes cannot penetrate the skin of the Honey Badger. Honey Badgers have been killed by mambas or puff adders, although most times it seems to go into a coma-like downtime and often recovers.
Honey Badgers don’t have a specific time of the year that they mate. After a gestation period of six months, they usually have one or two babies.
With all this knowledge, it is now understandable why the Honey Badger earned its place in the Guinness Book of Records and the Most Fearless Animal!