What are predators of honey badgers

The bravest animal in the world has a sweet tooth

It is about as long as a German Shepherd, only it has much shorter legs and is much stockier. With its wide white stripe on its back and its round face, it looks a bit like a skunk crossed with a sloth. The honey badger was not really known for its looks, but for its reputation for being the most fearless animal in the world. The animal, which is primarily at home in Africa, but also on the Arabian Peninsula and India, has truly earned this reputation. Eating cherries is anything but good with the honey badger. If the animal, related to our martens, feels threatened, it always confronts its opponent with angry growl and with a wide open mouth - no matter how big and powerful it is. There are numerous reports of honey badgers, when threatened without blinking, attacked lions, leopards and even buffalo.

Honey badgers literally pounce on their enemies. Their front legs with long claws and their sharp teeth are effective weapons. It has often been observed that honey badgers have deliberately attacked the genitals of their opponent. And it is precisely this courage and determination that is probably the reason why the honey badger has been listed in the "Guinness Book of Records" since 2002 year after year as the "most fearless creature in the world".

Double and triple secured systems
In disputes with physically superior opponents, the honey badger (Mellivora capensis) benefits from its very coarse, thick skin, which is difficult to penetrate even a lion's teeth. Because of their aggressive behavior, honey badgers must be kept in a kind of high-security area in the zoo. At Cologne Zoo, where there have been three honey badgers since 2012, the keepers knew exactly what was in store for them in advance: with their extremely strong forearms and huge claws, honey badgers can open almost any gap and have a huge one Destructive power. That is why the existing enclosure in the zoo was expanded into an indestructible, escape-proof fortress before the animals moved in: the earth basin was underlaid with strong wire and the water basin was concreted in. All the trees in the enclosure were chained and heavily wedged. Armored pipe was chosen as the pipe material for electrics and water. The pipes themselves were cemented in place. The water connections are protected with steel sleeves. Even the stones in the enclosure were cemented to prevent the badgers from hurling them against the panes and damaging the safety glass.

But the honey badger seems not only to be the most fearless animal in the world, but also the toughest. The honey badger owes this reputation of being incredibly tough to a video that has so far been viewed an unbelievable 70 million times on the YouTube internet platform and has made the honey badger a myth, not only among zoologists. The video shows a honey badger attacking a puff adder, one of the most venomous snakes in the world. He is bitten by her and still fights on. Ultimately, the honey badger kills the snake and begins to eat it. Then the poison begins to work and the little predator suddenly lies on its back as if dead. And then the unbelievable happens: the honey badger comes to after two hours and continues to eat unmoved.

At the moment, the experts are not entirely sure whether this unbelievable behavior is based on a kind of immunity of the honey badger to the poison of the puff adder. Apparently the nerve receptors of the honey badger resemble the nerve receptors of some venomous snakes, such as the cobra, which is immune to its own venom. The nerve endings, more precisely, the receptors of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, have been modified in these venomous snakes in such a way that certain types of neurotoxin cannot dock, which in turn leads to a certain immunity. However, this has not yet been scientifically proven for the honey badger.

Totally obsessed with honey
Their courage, tenacity, and thick skin have meant that honey badgers have even found their way into the world of the stock market and money. Even if only figuratively. Investment bankers refer to companies in which they have great confidence as so-called "honey badger companies". A management consultant put the reasons for this as follows: “Honigdachs companies have excellent management teams, clear objectives and strategies. You can deal with problems like a weak economy or strong competition. They emerge stronger from crises. They have strong business models and grow over the long term. "

In order to grow, the real honey badger eats almost anything it can overwhelm, and that's a wide range of animal species: it ranges from larger mammals such as foxes or smaller antelopes to crocodiles, poisonous snakes, to frogs, scorpions and insects. The honey badger's absolute favorite food is, as its name suggests, honey. And in order to get to him, the honey badger - at least as it is often read in the relevant literature - has entered into a very unusual symbiosis with a small bird.

Poetry or truth?
The honey indicator, a bird belonging to the woodpecker family, feeds mainly on bee maggots. Unfortunately, however, the little bird's beak is too weak to peck at a bee's nest. But the honey indicator knows what to do: it simply calls a honey badger and shows it the way to the beehive. With its strong claws, the honey badger tears open the nest without much effort and attacks the honey. When he's done, he leaves the field to the honey indicator, which cleans the bee maggots. According to recent findings, this extraordinary teamwork is possibly just a persistent myth. The collaboration between Vogel and Dachs has never been credibly documented on film, photographically or by a serious observer.

As looters of beehives, honey badgers are not, to put it mildly, among the most popular animals in southern Africa. In addition, the little robbers often break into stables and eat the poultry there. And since the farmers in northern South Africa are trying to get the "honey badger plague" under control with the help of poison bait, the populations of these extremely interesting animals are declining. However, at the moment there is no danger of the honey badger being exterminated.