Honey Badger (Mellivora capensis)

Honey Badger (Mellivora capensis) Silhouette

Quick stats of the Honey Badger

  • Diet: - Omnivore
  • Overall Length: - 0.93m
  • Weight: - Male - 12.3 kg
  • Weight: - Female - 12.3 kg
  • Lifespan - 20 years


Honey Badger (Mellivora capensis) © Toursa

The Honey Badger is widespread and very adaptable, occurring in most types of habitat, except mountainous forests and desert.
The Honey Badger is an unmistakable animal with its black body and broad white or greyish saddle on the head and back. It has a short tail which is bushy and black and is often held erect when walking. It is a stocky built animal with short legs equipped with strong claws - ideal for digging.

Their walk is a rolling gait with the nose held close to the ground sniffing around for food. Its ears are small and barely noticeable. The skin is very thick and loose, protecting it from attacks by predators.

The Badger's diet consists of small animals such as lizards, rodents, snakes, frogs and insects. Its common name is derived from their tendency to break into beehives and to eat the honey and larvae.

The Honey Badger is a courageous animal and can be very aggressive when it feels threatened. It is a solitary animal. They are mainly nocturnal, but in areas where they are not disturbed, the Honey Badger is active in early morning and late afternoon.

The young may be born at any time of the year. Usually two young are born after a gestation period of about ±6 months, and they are born in a burrow.

Other Names for the Honey Badger

  • Ratel


Distribution map of the Honey Badger
Distribution map of the Honey Badger

Taxonomy of the Honey Badger

  • Order - Carnivora
  • Family - Mustelidae
  • Sub Family - Mellivorinae
  • Genus - Mellivora
  • Species - Mellivora capensis

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