IUCN Status: Least Concern
Not surprisingly top addictive food is honey (followed very closely by domestic chicken)! This even in the wild is a treat feast..... Normal diet would be all the decent sized invertebrates found by ground foraging or by digging up larger vertebrate prey located by their acute sense of smell. In reality it is a an omnivore with a really wide diet including fruit and vegetables but predominantly smaller vertebrates such as geckos, skinks, gerbils, mice, snakes (such as small cobras), young springhares, tortoises, birds and eggs. The list is endless, if they find it and can eat it, they will!
Honey badgers have a gestation period of about 6 months and can cycle into oestrus about twice a year. Normally two blind cubs are born. Our badgers certainly get on well a a couple!
Our pair are nick named Mr & Mrs "Stoffel" after the famous YouTube honey badger renown for his escape exploits! They have to be one of the most entertaining and intelligent animals we have at the zoo - but only when they are out!. Like most interesting mustelids they are really only active at night and they can be heard rolling their metal dustbin into which they pace large stones around their enclosure all over the zoo at night! We offer small dabs of honey as a treat for enrichment along with other herbs and interesting smells and tastes throughout the day to encourage them to put in an appearance during daylight hours! Early morning 10-1100 hours and around afternoon feed at 1500 hours are good viewing times!
Honey badgers live in a wide range of environments but all of these tend to be predominantly dry and warm such as sub-Sahara countries like South Africa or Botswana. They also occur in Morocco, western Asia (Iran, Iraq) and India. Usually encountered out foraging in savanna habitat in National Parks.
Renown for taking on lions and especially chasing lion cubs off their kill this mustelid is pretty much fearless and not often crossed! The skin of a honey badger is not only super tough (often too strong even for lions teeth to penetrate) but it is really very very loose!. It is said that honey badger can almost turn around inside it's own skin! Along with it's no nonsense attitude and ferocity this makes it extremely dangerous and belligerent when upset!
In the wild a honey badger is by and large a solitary animal. Pairs are seen occasionally in the breeding season and the mother with her cubs, but their aggressive nature and thick skin makes most animals and their own kind avoid them unless for a reason! After all, it is not every animal that can pick or fight or defend itself against a lion or hyena! They do however, fall prey to leopards on occasion and when unlucky larger mature rock pythons. Due their nocturnal vibes this animal is not always on exhibit when you visit, but their innate curiosity always gets them out of bed at least a few times a day!!