Considered to be the world’s most fearless animal, the honey badger has some tough skin. Literally. The honey badger’s skin is so thick it is nearly impervious to animal bites, stings and venoms.
Native to parts of Africa and Asia, this tenacious, four-legged carnivore has a broad diet and is as mean as a snake. Meaner, actually, since it is known to fight and eat poisonous snakes. Let’s take a look into a day in the life of the honey badger.
The Infamous and Unique Honey Badger
Depending on the season, a day for a honey badger may be spent sleeping. During the summer months, honey badgers are nocturnal, and in winter they are diurnal. After waking, the honey badger will start its day (or night) searching for something to eat. Honey badgers are carnivores with a long list of prey, including birds, rodents, insect larvae, crocodiles, jackals and snakes. Honey badgers have an acute sense of smell, which is how they track their prey.
Although their names suggest otherwise, honey badgers do not actually eat honey, but rather the bee brood or larvae. Honey badgers will go to extensive lengths to get and eat bee brood, even though it is not an essential part of their diet.
A honey badger’s day is quite solitary. They usually hunt alone, and the males and females only encounter each other to mate. Honey badgers do not form pairs or couples, and child rearing is solely on the female. Honey badgers also roam a lot and do not have one set den they live in. They normally sleep in holes they dig for themselves or ones that have been dug by other animals, finding a new one to sleep in each time it is ready to sleep.
There is no set mating season for honey badgers, as they will mate year round. Males are not territorial, but they will guard a female they are mating with. The male will isolate a female within a burrow and physically keep her from leaving for up to 3 days while mating. Mating is quite competitive for male honey badgers; the dominant male will usually chase away inferior males from the mating burrow. Younger honey badgers can sometimes sneak and mate with a female, but a majority of the cubs within a burrow are fathered by the dominant male.
Fascinating creatures to watch and study, honey badgers are truly unique and one of a kind. Although fairly small in size, honey badgers have rightly earned their name as the world’s most fearless animal. If you want to witness honey badgers live in their natural habitat and other exotic animals like them, check us out Roho Ya Chui and our exciting African safaris.
Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
Image: Dana Allen