Within their environment, honey badgers are seen as one of the most alarming species due to their fearlessness of danger and predators around them. In general, honey badgers tend to keep to themselves due to their relatively independent nature. The mothers in general take care of their newborns but the males typically tend to travel onHoney Badger with a Goshawk; Used with permission by Keith and Colleen Begg their own (Mueller, 2014). With their high temperament and disregard of other species, it is not surprising that they generally keep to themselves. As a smaller species in an environment with various amounts of predators, the honey badger must always be on its guard for potential attackers. Even though in general honey badgers maintain their solitude, there are certain areas where they meet to sniff around and mark the ground with their scent (“Honey Badger (Ratel),” 2014). This is where honey badgers may discover potential mates and interact within their population.

For communication purposes, the Mellivora capensis can produce a variety of sounds. Generally the honey badger communes in series of grunts, squeaks, whines and hisses, yet they’re most noted for their profound and menacing growl (“Honey Badger”, 2014). When observing the honey badger when battling with predators, you can clearly hear its projected growl as it fends off potential threats. You can observe the honey badger in a stiff battle with a hyena in the video below!  The fearless honey badger is able to fend off its attacker without any harm done. For protective purposes, their growl can be utilized.


In general context to other species, the honey badger could generally be seen as a predator, due to its wide diet variety as seen on the Nutrition page. With a landscape that is littered with many various predators, the honey badger does have to compete for its food, though their strong jaws and sharp claws give them proper tools to achieve their meal. Leopard Killing a Honey Badger; Used with permission by Keith and Colleen Begg

In their terrestrial area, the honey badger truly has only a relatively small amount of predators, mainly due to their fearsome attitude and other strong characteristics. Some of their predators within the African area may include lions, leopards, or other fairly larger predators. One thing for certain is that the honey badger doesn’t go down without a fight. There is a story how once an elderly female honey badger with almost no teath and blindness in one eye withstanded a leopard attack for nearly one hour (“Honey Badger,” 2014). If one thing’s for certain, the honey badger should never be underestimated.

Despite being widely spread throughout the African environments, there are some instances Traditional Beekeeper Hive in Southern Africa; Used with permission by Keith and Colleen Beggwhere humans utilize the honey badgers as well. Honey gatherers located within the Kalahari environment utilize various types of honey-intrigued species (known as honey guides) to technically lead the gatherers to various sources of honey. Species such as the honey badgers are used to track down where the natural beehives are located within the area so honey can be collected (Isack, 1989).  Apart from their honeyguide abilities, honey badgers are notorious for disrupting beekeeper hives all throughout Africa.  Traditional beekeepers are forced to take precautions by hanging their hives up on the bark of trees or surrounding them with protective barricades to prevent destruction.  Despite the beekeepers best efforts, the honey badger still acounts for thousands of bee hive destructions each year (Begg, 2012).

It's clear that the honey badger plays a diverse role within its niche.  To learn some more fun info related to this species, check out the Facts page!