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Featured Animal - The Honey Badger

8/11/2016

 

The honey badger's reputation as the "bush bouncer" and all-around tough guy certainly is well founded. It's no coincidence that the South African military named their strongest armored vehicle after the Afrikaans word for honey badger, "Ratel".

 

 

 

Just like the skunk, who also wears a bicolor tuxedo, the honey badger can emit a rancid smell from his reversible anal pouches when stressed. Also, honey badgers have a very thick but  loose fitting skin. This allows them to turn inside their own skin if attacked. There is no safe place to hold onto a honey badger, even the scruff of the neck is not safe. Once the badger has turned in his skin he can bring out the "big guns" – short, stocky and strong legs with inch-long claws. 

 

Honey badgers have extremely powerful jaws that allow them to chomp down on and eat just about anything. They will crunch through bones of carrion and feast on anything from termites to cooler boxes and will happily kill and eat some of the most venomous snakes in Africa. Like many of the mustelids, they are able to metabolize the protein compounds (through glycosylation) in the venom; this allows them to be bitten by venomous snakes, yet remain unaffected.

 

 

Combine all of these factors with the honey badger's high intelligence and it's no wonder the Guinness Book of World Records has them listed as the most fearless animal in the world.

 

 

 

 

 

If you are not already frightened off, the Kalahari (Kalahari Plains Camp) is one of the best places to see the elusive animal, especially during the colder months from June through August.

 

 


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