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Honey Badger
Honey Badger

Honey badger (Ratel)

Order Carnivora Family Mustelidae Mellivora capensis
The honey badger (ratel) is a slow and powerful predator that relies primarily on its amazing digging abilities to excavate prey from their burrows. The prey is sensed in the burrow using an acute sense of smell. Most common prey is rodents, arthropods and reptiles. They frequently raid bee-hives and will also steal prey from other predators. Activity depends on the area and time of year. May be nocturnal, diurnal or crepuscular.
They are usually solitary but occasionally seen in pairs. Larger groups are probably females with well developed sub-adult cubs.
Honey badger are ferocious fighters. The black and white coloration aposematic, warning other animals not to engage with the badger. Most often attacking animals will go for the neck of the honey badger. The loose skin allows the honey badger to turn and face the attacking animal while it is holding the neck of the badger and bite and slash the aggressor. The front claws of the honey badger are blade-like and can do significant damage. The honey badger also has a pair of anal pouches which release a very unpleasant smelling fluid which is used as a secondary defence.
They are home-range animals with male and female home-ranges overlapping. Mating usually takes place in early summer and 2 young are born in an excavated burrow. Average lifespan in the wild is 20 years.