Honey Badger

The Facts

  • Genus/Species: Mellivora capensis
  • Conservation Status: Low Risk
  • Location: Africa, Southwest Asia, Indian sub-continent.


Honey Badger
Honey Badger

The Scoop

World’s Most Fearless Animal

The honey badger has been called the world’s most fearless animal because it doesn’t hesitate to attack animals much larger than itself- even lions and crocodiles! Honey badgers are found in arid grasslands and savannahs and even rainforests. They live in burrows in the ground. The honey badger looks a bit like a skunk. It has a stocky, flattened body with short, strong legs. Its long claws on the front feet are used for digging and defense. Its hair is thick and coarse, mostly black with a wide gray-white stripe that stretches across its back from the top of the head to the tip of the tail. The honey badger also has a gland at the base of its tail that stores a stinky liquid. If it is frightened or threatened, it drops a “stink bomb”.

The honey badger is about two feet long, and its tail adds another foot to its length.  Did you know that one foot equals 12 inches, or the length of ruler? The honey badger weighs around 26 pounds, which is around the weight of an average two year old child. Its diet varies from small mammals and the young of large mammals to birds, reptiles, insects, dead animals and even a little vegetation, including juicy fruits. The honey badger gets its name from the fact that it is led by the song of a bird, the honey guide, to a beehive which it breaks open with its strong claws. Then the honey badger and the bird both have a feast!

Honey badgers’ main threat is human due to poisoning and trapping. Furthermore, beekeepers do not like honey badgers because they destroy beehives. Luckily, honey badger’s fierceness has kept it from being seriously endangered!


Did You Know?

  • The honey badger's skin is so thick that it can withstand bee stings, porcupine quills, or even snake bites and dog bites!
  • The honey badger's smelly ‘stink bombs’ cause bees to fly away from their hive.
  • The honey badger rushes towards its enemy with a loud rattling-roar.
  • The honey badger has ears that are not visible. It has little internal ears that can be folded out when required by the badger.


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