The Fearless Honey Badger
The honey badger is widely recognized as the most fearless- and fiercest - animal in the world.
The honey badger is a ferocious, fearless, and pugnacious animal
The honey badger is a relatively small animal averaging about 25 pounds, with large males occasionally reaching 35 pounds. They are long-bodied with short, powerful legs, standing about 12 inches at the shoulder. But dinamite comes in small packages! They can live up to 7 years old in the wild.
They will seek out and attack honey bee hives with incredible determination, accepting hundreds of stings while they eat honey, honey comb and their favourite, the bee larvae which is located at the center of the hive.
Honey badgers are not only able to accept stings from bees, but can also handle bites from the world’s deadliest snakes, like puff adders, mambas and cobras, which they happily hunt, kill and devour. Up to 25% of their diet is snake. The honey badger is not necessarily immune to these venoms, but rather the badgers skin is so thick and tough that most bee stingers and snake fangs cannot penetrate it. If the venom of a large snake does get into the system, the badger may be killed, but often just has a coma-like "down time" while it recovers. This may be a few moments or as long as several hours, after which the badger will awake and promptly it finish off its snake dinner.- Amazing! The honey badger can survive a bite from a King cobra, and then eat the snake.
The honey badger has a high metabolism and spends lots of energy crashing around its territory looking for things to consume. Honey badgers are active day and night and are always hunting, there is very little stealth involved here. They risk alerting prey, but also risk aggravating predators such as lions, leopards and hyenas, all of which are considerably larger than a honey badger, and they don't seem to care.
They can, occasionally, be killed by these animals, but these predators don't usually take the risk involved in subduing an animals as formidable as the honey badger. The badger will generally bluff, growl and charge it's way out of the situation, even warding off entire prides of lions, which is why the honey badger is commonly considered the fiercest animal on the planet.
The honey badger is not a true badger. The honey badger is in a separate genus from the American and European badgers, and is actually more closely related to wolverines and weasels. Nevertheless, the honey badger is exceedingly "badger-like". The word "badger" comes from the French word "becheur" which means "digger"
Honey badgers are native to most of Africa and parts of Southwest Asia. Their home ranges can be as vast as about 193 square miles (500 square kilometres). In Africa it is commonly called the "ratel". This word has the same meaning as the word "rattle", and refers to the sound that these excitable animals make when they are agitated, which is actually quite often.
Honey badgers are solitary animals that spend a great deal of time actively, noisily, patrolling large territories in search of almost anything edible.
They are mostly carnivorous hunters, but will try a variety of foods including fruits and even some flower species. They scavenge for carrion but also actively hunt and eat a large variety of prey, including birds, reptiles and even young monkeys, but are especially fond of honey, of course. Though they hunt for their own food most of the time, they’ll happily steal from other carnivores or scavenge the kills of bigger animals when the opportunity arises. Their prominent, sharp teeth, long foreclaws, and stocky build allow them to easily rip meat from bone.They will eat anything and everything.
Most honey badgers are active throughout the day, though near human settlements they may prefer the cover of darkness. They are often seen alone, though it’s not uncommon to spot mating pairs. Honey badgers mate all year and often have just one cub at a time.
Good at turning rock crevices and hollowed trees into shelters, honey badgers will also make homes in the abandoned dens of other animals like porcupines and yellow mongooses.
Though honey badgers are widespread and considered abundant, they are hunted or persecuted in certain regions, especially when they come into conflict with farmers and beekeepers. They’re also eaten as bushmeat and harvested for the traditional medicine trade; a reputation for bravery and tenacity make honey badgers popular for traditional medicine. Preventing the loss of honey badgers from those areas requires vigilance from local populations.
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