Watch This Bold Honey Badger Refuse To Back Down And Bow To The King Of The Jungle

Written by Sharon Parry
Updated: October 19, 2023
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Key Points

  • The little honey badger has an impressive array of predator avoidance tactics and does not submit readily to even large predators.
  • You may also notice that the honey badger is charging at the lion and making it step back.
  • Getting hold of a honey badger is not easy because of their loose skin. If they are caught by a predator, they are perfectly willing to bite back with a savage grip!

Go honey badger! This little guy gives zero respect to an apex predator and ends up seeing off the much larger animal. Watch the full video of this extraordinary encounter.

Check Out The Complete Footage Below!

What Exactly Are Honey Badgers?

The honey badger is a small carnivore with an appetite for, you guessed it, honey! Their scientific name is Mellivora capensis but they have a few common names including ratel (after its aggressive, rattling grunts), Gorpat (which means ‘gravedigger’) and Ntaulira which means “that which does not hear” because it has small ears. They are found in Africa, Asia and India.

Honey badger

Honey badgers are small carnivores found in Africa, Asia and India.

©Ondrej Prosicky/Shutterstock.com

Which Animals Prey On Honey Badgers?

Considering that they are quite small, honey badgers have remarkably few natural predators. Large hunters such as the lion and leopard will try to catch them although this particular lion did not look over-enthusiastic! The spotted hyena will also prey on them and the black-backed jackal will try to catch honey badger cubs.

Are Hyenas Dogs

A spotted hyena in Luangwa national park Zambia. Hyenas are one of the few predators of the honey badger.

©gualtiero boffi/Shutterstock.com

How Do Honey Badgers Defend Themselves?

This lion had good reason to hesitate about tackling an uncooperative honey badger! The little mammal has an impressive array of predator avoidance tactics and does not submit readily to even large predators. They are much more likely to stand their ground and fight. Within this clip, we see the typical ‘defense’ posture which is the body positioned upright with the tail erect. In addition, they use piloerection where the muscles at the base of the hair follicles contract and the hair rises. When it occurs in humans it’s called getting goosebumps. Whereas in some animals with fur it ‘puffs’ them out so that they look bigger and more menacing. You may have seen your pet cat do it.

Honey badgers have a vicious bite and can dribble offensive-smelling anal gland secretions which put many predators off!

©LM Gray/Shutterstock.com

Honey Badger Charging And Odor!

You may also notice that the honey badger is charging at the lion and making it step back. This puts off many predators. However, perhaps their most objectionable defense mechanism is to dribble offensive-smelling anal gland secretions. That may explain why the lion was keen walk away.

Getting hold of a honey badger is not easy because of their loose skin. If they are caught by a predator, they are perfectly willing to bite back with a savage grip!

The photo featured at the top of this post is © LouisLotterPhotography/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Dr Sharon Parry is a writer at A-Z animals where her primary focus is on dogs, animal behavior, and research. Sharon holds a PhD from Leeds University, UK which she earned in 1998 and has been working as a science writer for the last 15 years. A resident of Wales, UK, Sharon loves taking care of her spaniel named Dexter and hiking around coastlines and mountains.

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