The Guinness Book of World Records named the Honey Badger "The Most Fearless Animal", though honey badgers became popularized by Randall's youtube sensation "The Crazy NastyA$$ Honey Badger" which you can find at the bottom of this article if you would like a laugh.
Randall's video, while funny, is also fairly accurate. The honey badger really does not care. The honey badger is primarily carnivorous and can be found hunting at both day and night, whenever it finds itself hungry. However, in areas that are populated by dense human populations, they are primarily nocturnal hunters.
The honey badger is part of the mustelid family which houses weasels, badgers, and skunks. However, the honey badger is more closely related to the skunk than tha badger.
So why does the honey badger not care?
Honey Badgers' Defensive and Offensive Capabilities
The honey badger has extensive defensive and offensive capabilities. In fact, in South Africa where the honey badger is called ratel, the South African army named their tanks after the honey badger.
So what makes the honey badge so tank like? Its skin. The honey badger has thick skin similar to a pigs. Around the neck, the honey badgers skin is 6 mm's thick. That is 1/4 of an inch, if you wanted to know the conversion. The honey badgers' skin, while thick, is also loose on its body. Should a predator happen to get their jaws around it's back skin, the honey badger can easily wiggle around to scratch and bite them.
Because this animal is more closely related to the skunk than the badger it can also secret strong smelling scents from its anal gland. In fact, the honey badger can do one better than the skunk, it can turn it's anal gland inside out which proves for a more potent scent. The badger uses this for defense, but more often to subdue bees when it is attacking beehives.
The honey badgers' offensive capabilities include its short broad snot with long sharp teeth and it's long claws on both it's front and back legs. These claws are also perfect digging tools. This animal can dig so quickly, it can bury itself out of sight in a mere few minutes.
The honey badgers' long claws may seem like it would slow it down, but it is actually quite the contrary. When the badger does its signature trot-jog, it can run as fast as six miles per hour without breaking a sweat.
The Honey Badger Fearless Diet
There are two things that the honey badger loves to fill its diet with, bees and snakes. Both are extraordinarily dangerous.
The honey badger got its name for its tendency to waltz right into bee hives and eat what it wants. Mind you, these are not your sissy American or European bees, this is Africa. African bees are the most aggressive and notoriously painful bees around. This is where the badgers' thick skin comes in handy. The massive amount of bee stings it receives seems to not even phase this juggernaut.
The honey badger also uses its anal gland to try to subdue or ward off the bees from attacking it. Though the honey badgers name suggests it enjoys honey, they usually raid the beehive for the larva. Though it does eat the honey comb as well.
Another staple in the honey badgers diet is snakes. Snakes have very few natural predators, so it makes them plentiful. The honey badger does not even care if the snake is poisonous. There is a very famous clip of this animal taking on the highly poisonous king cobra.
The honey badge kills the king cobra but receives a bite with enough venom to kill an elephant. As the bitten badger snacks on the defeated snake it seems he is doomed. Eventually the honey badger rolls over and falls asleep. He wakes up two hours later and trots off as it nothing happened.
This makes the honey badger one of few on a small list to be immune to snake venom, much like it's cousin the weasel.
Do not be mistaken, these animals also enjoy other none life threatening diets as well. Basically it will eat whatever it can catch. The honey badger is a very persistent hunter which makes it a scourge to human kept animals like poultry. The honey badger will rip the planks off chicken coups or burrow under stone foundation to get in and eat chickens. In places like India, the honey badger has been known to dig up human corpses and eat those as well.
Honey Badger and Breeding
The honey badger breeds rather slowly, making them close to threatened in some areas. They will breed in September or October and carry their young for six to eight weeks before they are born. The honey badger usually births one cub at a time, but two cubs are rarely born as well. The cubs are born pink and blind. The mother will keep her cub in the same burrow for about three months before picking them up and carrying them off to a new one.
The honey badger will change burrows every few days to elude any predators that may be tracking them.
At about a year old, the young honey badger will strike out on its own.
Relationship With People
Because of its fearless and pesky nature, the honey badger has a strained relationship with humans. Humans, in particular beekeepers, will kill the animal on sight if they see it near their hives. The badger is not easily deterred. So if the beekeepers were to try to deter the animal, it would not work out. The honey badger does not give up, so most humans feel it must be killed if they wish to save their hives.
This also goes for any human raised animal that the badger likes to snack on.
In Kenya it is also believe that the badger is also a major carrier of rabies. This is unfortunate because on occasion the animal will attack children.