Honey Badger * Ratel * Mellivora Capensis

It is known to savagely and fearlessly attack almost any other species when escape is impossible, reportedly even repelling much larger predators such as lion and hyena. The honey badger (Mellivora capensis) is a mammal widely distributed in Africa.

It is primarily a carnivorous species and has few natural predators because of its thick skin, strength and ferocious defensive abilities. The honey badger has short and sturdy legs, with five toes on each foot. The feet are armed with very strong claws, which are short on the hind legs and remarkably long on the forelimbs.

The honey badger possesses an anal pouch which, unusual among mustelids, is eversible, a trait shared with hyenas and mongooses. The smell of the pouch is reportedly "suffocating", and may assist in calming bees when raiding beehives.

It often raids beehives in search of both bee larvae and honey. It also feeds on insects, frogs, tortoises, turtles, lizards, rodents, snakes, birds and eggs. It also eats berries, roots and bulbs.

Honey badgers studied in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park preyed largely on geckos and skinks (47.9% of prey species), gerbils and mice (39.7% of prey). The bulk of its prey comprised species weighing more than 100 g (3.5 oz) such as cobras, young African rock python and South African springhare. 
In the Kalahari, honey badgers were also observed to attack domestic sheep and goats, as well as kill and eat black mambas. A honey badger was suspected to have broken up the shells of tent tortoises in the Nama Karoo.

The honey badger is crowned “the world’s most fearless animal” in the Guinness Book of World Records (Edition 2002).