In case you were looking for confirmation of the honey badger's legendary resilience, this video of a predatory showdown filmed in Botswana should do the trick ...

The remarkable footage was captured earlier this year by Roselyne Kerjosse while on safari in Chobe National Park. At the beginning of the clip the badger looks done for. Ensnared in the twisted grip of a large python, the motionless ratel appears unlikely to enact an escape. Fortunately for the badger, help arrived in the unexpected form of a pair of black-backed jackals that moved in to investigate the commotion. Momentarily distracted by a snapping jackal, the python released its grip enough for the badger to break free.

Seemingly undeterred by its near suffocation, the honey badger quickly got to work dispatching the python, with a bit of inadvertent assistance from the jackals who were also interested in the sizeable meal. Neither predator was willing to back down and a tug-of-war soon broke out between jackal and badger with the unfortunate snake playing the part of the rope. It appears that the badger eventually came out on top after dragging its quarry into a shrub where it could be scoffed down in peace. 




The honey badger's nocturnal habits and reasonably small size can make them tricky to spot in the wild. Catching a glimpse of one is a rare treat and spotting a badger embroiled in an all-out battle for possession of a python carcass is extra special. In addition to their unrivalled pluckiness, badgers also have thick, loose-fitting skin which is tough for predators to penetrate, hence both snake and jackals had trouble getting a grip on the crafty carnivore.

Everything from scorpions and moles to barking geckos, porcupines and, of course, snakes are on the honey badgers' menu (not to mention the occasional baked treat). True to their name, badgers will also raid bee nests in search of honey by using their pungent anal glands to fumigate the hive before ripping at it with their strong claws. It's not just the honey that attracts the wily omnivores, though, they also scoff down the juicy bee larva.

Badgers are often trailed by other opportunistic predators, like goshawks and jackals, that are looking to score an easy meal. Another game of predatory tug-of-war broke out in August this year in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park when a honey badger caught a squirrel and was unwilling to share its prize with a jackal. Elisabeth Ann Moss was there to capture the action:

badger_porcupine_related_content_2017-03-01.jpg