Loves honey, but not a bear. Loves snakes, but not a serpentologist.
One amazing beast lives in the world, which many call a honey badger. Officially, it is believed that his relatives are the weasel family, but the similarity is only superficial. A long, almost one-meter body with a 25-centimeter tail, disproportionately short powerful paws, a “dog’s” muzzle – that’s all that this creature has in common with a badger or marten.
Due to the off-white color of the coat on the back, nape, and outer side of the neck, the animal successfully disguises itself among desert salt marshes – the main habitat. Inhabitants of Africa, where it is found everywhere, call it “bald badger”, and Turkmens and Central Asians call it “dog bear”.
These names are much more suitable for a relative of the wolverine because of the basis of its diet: lizards, snakes, small rodents, birds, turtles, and even medium-sized sheep. It does not shun carrion either. But honey for him is a rare and very desirable delicacy.
For the sake of such sweetness, the honey badger is able to climb a tall tree and unceremoniously stir up a huge hive. Moreover, the honey badger goes to the business together with a small bird-honey guide, which looks out for beehives from a height and, upon seeing it, starts emitting a very special whistle, beckoning its partner.
The honey badger sprays the bees’ habitat with a special, pungent-smelling secretion from the anal glands. Some of the bees are killed, most are scattered. Thus, the winners receive a sweet treat and nutritious larvae. Soldier bees can desperately resist an intruder and try to bite, but bad luck, the skin of this animal under the hairline is so strong that a large dog cannot bite it. By the way, honey badgers can be extremely aggressive.
They fearlessly engage in battle with lions, hyenas, attack buffaloes, while inflicting serious wounds on the opponent.
From the midday heat, the animal takes refuge in the tunnels, digging them out with lightning speed with strong front paws with long claws. In the same way, they dig up reptiles and rodents from the ground. In the tunnels, females give birth to 1-2 cubs, which they prefer to drag from place to place, and which they take care of for about a year.
But the most surprising fact is the absolute resistance of the dog bear to snake venom. A dose capable of dumping a buffalo dead causes the honey badger to have moderate discomfort. After a couple of hours of convulsions and convulsions, he rises and continues on his way, as if nothing had happened.
The mechanism of the antidote is still unknown to science. At the same time, collisions with various kinds of snakes occur regularly, because this creature loves to eat them. Its only vulnerable spot is its muzzle; no snake is able to bite through the rest of its body.