Thursday, July 14, 2011

One of the most ferocious and fearless animals in the world

Honey badger....sounds cute right?
He even looks and acts cute, as you see here:

Honey badger at Moholoholo Rehab Center in South Africa
Awwww...totally adorable!  Look at those little beady eyes!  I just want to hug him!

or how about this:

Honey badgers waiting for their dinner

It just makes me want to ooh and ahh and make little gargly baby noises all day....or....
that's what I thought until our guide pulled out scraps of meat and threw them into their 7 foot deep and 20 foot wide dirt hole that they lived in surrounded by electric fencing.....the sharp teeth came out with bits of meat disappearing in seconds and blood dripping down their chins...

As we learned that day, the honey badger is a vicious carnivore that is considered one of the most ferocious animals in the world...the dudes are smart, nasty and go for the kill in the most, well, uncomfortable way possible.... see those cute little paws with those cute little claws? (pictured to the left)

The honey badger's preferred way to hunt is to take down a small to medium sized animal...beit elephant, water buffalo, antelope,  by grabbing on to the animals junk...and biting it off...

....yup, you heard right...the family treasure, the goods, manhood...

from there, he follows it around until the animal bleeds to death

They can also get bitten by poisonous snakes and survive by sleeping  it off for a few hours, similar to a bad hangover, wake up, shake it off and be fine!

These little guys are nasty, cruel and really, really smart!
Just the pair in the rehab center had at one point escaped from their 7 foot deep hole by collecting sticks in their dirt cave and put together a homemade badger ladder.   They managed to escape in the middle of the night!  They were (fortunate for the other animals I guess) found and returned shortly after.

It was cool to see them in person, but at that moment, I was pretty glad not to be a dude in Africa.
Definitely a bit less to worry about!

After we went to visit Moholoholo Rehab Center (near Krueger Park in the north of South Africa), we were staying at a hostel down the road and started talking with the owner about how cool and crazy we thought these little guys were and he immediately had this to say:

"Don't talk to me about honey badgers!  I hate them!  Nasty bleepity bleeps!  They're horrible!  A pair of them came thru my land and killed all 30 of my chickens and 5 of my sheep!  Didn't even bother to eat them, just killed them for fun!  I stayed up for 3 nights with a shot gun waiting for the little *bleeps* to come back!  So don't talk to me about honey badgers!"

Uh.  Ok.  Fair enough!

The one thing I learned in South Africa watching and learning about animals is that every animal is a part of the natural order of the food chain.  Without one, the others cannot exist.  There are even different kinds of vultures that do certain kinds of carcass picking....some designed to find the animal from the sky, others to break it open with their super strong beaks and small ones to pick off the bits and pieces the big ones can't get to....full service carcass cleaning!  At your service!

I can see how having a honey badger around for a vulture or a coyote could be nice and plays a valuable role in the circle of life, but as a farmer with nice juicy chickens that have little delicious necks to chew on as well as your own personal, well, safety!...I can totally sympathize....
But the point remains, no matter what your take is on them...
Wow.  What a way to go!  CRAZY!


  1. For me, peeing in the south african wilderness took to another dimension after knowing about honey badgers... love toilets!

  2. "The honey badget don't give a S**T!" Nice.