Honey Badger Lives Up to Fearless Reputation Battling SIX Lions at Once

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Written by Angie Menjivar

Updated: November 10, 2023

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Animals With the Toughest Skin-Honey Badger
© Pavel Kovaricek/Shutterstock.com

Key Points:

  • Lions aren’t allowed to hunt with the pride until they are around a year old. The juveniles in the video obviously didn’t have much experience and were attempting to play with the honey badger.
  • Honey badgers have an unusual quality to their skin that gives them an advantage. Their loose, thick hide allows them to maneuver almost independently of it to make an escape.
  • This video illustrates why the honey badger is known for being a fearless, aggressive, relentless animal that demands respect.

Honey badgers have a similar appearance to skunks but a different reputation. They are in the same family as weasels and they’re typically solitary creatures.

However, they do come together when it’s time for mating, and they may also decide to live in pairs. These animals are fantastic at digging. They love to dig and burrow where they can seek shelter and get some rest. They typically do this anywhere they find a good spot, whether that be in the ground or right up against a tree trunk.

Aside from their lifestyles, honey badgers have developed a reputation for being quite mean. They refuse to stand down to anyone or anything.

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Honey badgers are known for being thick-skinned and aggressive. Although they’ll try to avoid a confrontation, if it happens, they don’t back down.

Animals With the Toughest Skin-Honey Badger

Honey badgers may be small, but they are fearless!

©Pavel Kovaricek/Shutterstock.com

A Honey Badger Approaches Members of a Lion Pride

In this clip, you get a taste of just how fearless honey badgers can truly be. Giles Kelmenson from Aquavision TV Productions narrates the video, knowing that honey badgers won’t cower and back down to even the king of the jungle.

Giles is out with a group enjoying a lion sighting when he spots two honey badgers coming out of the weeds. Knowing he and his group were likely to witness something unusual, he told them to hold off and take their cameras out.

There were two adult lionesses and four juveniles; the honey badgers walked out to them without hesitation. The four young lions immediately took interest and started pawing at the honey badgers.

pride of lions

Young lions are typically not allowed to hunt until they are close to a year old.

©Teresa Moore/Shutterstock.com

Not intimidated by the massive difference in size, one of the honey badgers became aggressive, making a rattling noise at the lions. Although small, the honey badger manages to intimidate the lions with its unusual noises.

The lionesses, having experience with honey badgers, wanted nothing to do with them. However, the younger lions were more curious and continued engagement with the honey badgers. Things got a bit more serious as the honey badger responded even more aggressively.

One of the lionesses stepped in and mauled the honey badger—its body caught up easily in the lioness’s large bite—but the honey badger has an incredible ability to rotate its body and as it managed to do so, it took a bite of the lioness’ nose.

Startled, she let it go and the honey badger lunged forward persistently. It was an incredibly rare interaction to witness and both honey badgers got away unscathed.

Is it Normal for a Honey Badger to Prevail Against a Lion?

Honey badger vs lion
An adult lioness, which weighs up to 500 lbs and can run 45 mph, can kill a honey badger if she wants to.

The honey badgers in the video were lucky. If the adult female lioness had wanted to kill the honey badger – she would have no trouble doing so. Adult lions weigh up to 500 pounds and a honey badger weighs only 40. Honey badgers can run 19 mph while female lions can reach speeds of 45 mph. In every category – size, speed, bite force, and hunting skill – the lion would win. The only advantage the honey badger has over the lion is that it never gives up and it knows no fear. Sometimes, that is all it takes!

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About the Author

Angie Menjivar is a writer at A-Z-Animals primarily covering pets, wildlife, and the human spirit. She has 14 years of experience, holds a Bachelor's degree in psychology, and continues her studies into human behavior, working as a copywriter in the mental health space. She resides in North Carolina, where she's fallen in love with thunderstorms and uses them as an excuse to get extra cuddles from her three cats.

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