More ferocious than a lion

More ferocious than a lion

Sara • 09/18/2023


This little creature may not be large in stature but has more ‘chutzpah’ than most large predators. Can you guess what it is? It’s the Honey Badger! In fact, these feisty little badgers have been known to chase off young lions off kills as well as actually kill buffalo, wildebeest and waterbuck. Whether their ability to kill these animals is really legitimate remains a mystery but many trackers have recorded these animals dead due to blood loss as honey badgers attack any animals most vulnerable parts – the genitals!

Honey badgers are primarily carnivorous and will eat anything from birds and lizards to deadly poisonous snakes. A tracker has even seen a honey badger being bitten by a highly venomous puff adder while killing the snake. It didn’t seem to have an impact as it then lay down next to its kill, slept for a few hours and woke up to devour it meal with no ill effect from the venom. Now that’s takes courage!

Honey Badgers get their name from their symbiotic relationship which they share with the Greater Honeyguide. This bird makes a call, VIC – TOR, which it repeats over and over to attract the Honey Badger. The bird will then fly off a few hundred metres so the honey badger will follow until it finds the hive. The honey badger is super thick skinned – seemingly immune to the stings of aggressive bees. The honey badger will enjoy his feats of honey and leave the honeycomb and any grubs/ larvae for the bird to eat.

Greater Honeyguide, photo by Peter Price.

Honey Badgers are also brilliant diggers and can dig ample tunnels in hard ground in as little as 10 minutes. They use these tunnels to sleep in during the day and then come out at night as they are primarily nocturnal. So the next time you see a honey badger during the day, consider yourself lucky and make sure your important bits are well out of reach!