By Labby Gong
The honey badger is a primarily carnivorous mammal that takes what it wants. It is roughly two feet long with stocky legs, powerful jaws, strong claws, and a feisty attitude.
Its diet includes eggs, small rodents, snakes, birds, and frogs, fruit, beehives, and even carrion. Its name comes from its believed ability to follow the honey guide, a type of bird that finds beehives. Once they reach the beehive, the honey badger uses its strong claws to tear it open, and both the bird and the honey badger enjoy the feast. Whether they follow the bird or not, beekeepers do not like the fierce badger because they destroy beehives. Human trapping and poisoning are the main threat to honey badgers, because the little beasts are too aggressive to be seriously threatened by other animals, as the honey badger has many attributes that keep it kicking in the wild.
To start, the honey badger has many physical advantages that make it the ultimate survivor. Honey badgers have loose skin on their necks that allow them to twist their heads around and bite their attacker when being bitten on the neck. Surprise! Honey badgers also secrete a foul smelling liquid out of their bums to ward off enemies or drive away bees. Their hair also stands on end when they feel threatened to make them appear larger. Their tough skin protects them from most bee stings, snake bites, and even porcupine quills, so the honey badger doesn’t have to worry about getting seriously injured when feasting on bee larvae or snake guts. The greedy killers eat a lot of snakes, including some highly venomous snakes whose venom can kill humans, which shows that they have developed a resistance to the poison. No piece of food can escape the determined badgers, as their jaws are so powerful they can crack tortoise shells and eat the bones of their prey. Their strong claws aid them in climbing trees to catch their prey, reaching beehives, digging holes to escape thunderstorms, or catching small rodents.
The behavior of the honey badger is what it is famous for. The small mammal will attack animals much larger than itself like lions or crocodiles, if it is feeling threatened. Honey badgers have even been seen chasing away young lions so they can take their food, and charge their enemies with a rattling roar. If cattle, cape buffalo, or horses stumble on the honey badger’s burrow, the honey badger will attack the intruders mercilessly. These angsty fighters seem to be tireless in combat and can wear out larger competitors in a battle.
Other animals like jackals and hawks depend on the honey badger for food, following the little renogades and eating their scraps or catching their runaway prey. The ferocity of these badgers may contribute to the coloration of young cheetahs, with light brown fur on their necks and backs similar to the honey badger’s markings. This defense may confuse possible predators enough to make them think twice about approaching vulnerable cheetah cubs because they look like honey badgers.
To conclude, honey badgers are amazing animals who don’t care and eat everything. They can dig, climb, and never give up a fight. Maybe we need to learn from them…