Honey badger, or ratel

Honey badger (ratel)

Have no fear


giant panda



Map of Africa


Endangered Status



2.4 to 3.2
feet, length; plus tail
A soccer ball is 9 inches high.
ratel compared in size to a soccer ball
Meat eater

Honey badgers eat snakes, scorpions, birds, insects, small mammals, vegetation, and fruits.

forest, mountains, desert
Grassland habitat


Ratel on large rock

A digging expert

The honey badger, also known as a ratel, is a strong, smart, and fierce mammal. Its stocky, flattened body has short, strong legs and claws on the front feet that are perfectly suited for digging.

Ratel displaying it's skunk-like coat

Like a skunk?

The honey badger’s coat is thick and coarse, mostly black, with a wide, grayish-white stripe along its back from head to tailtip. Does that remind you of another animal? That's right, a skunk! And they don't just look like a skunk, they can stink like one, too. When a predator like a lion, leopard, or hyena tries to attack a honey badger, it releases a "stink bomb" that helps keep trouble away.

Ratel sitting in a tree trunk

Built tough

The honey badger's 2-tone coat covers skin that also helps the animal survive. Not only is its skin tough, it’s loose enough that a honey badger can turn around in it and bite its attacker. And speaking of bites, the honey badger can survive the bites of some very dangerous creatures. They eat scorpions and snakes, and they have an unusually strong immunity to venom. That means that even if the scorpion stings or the snake bites it, the honey badger doesn't die as other animals might.

Honey badgers are native to sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and India.