See them up close at the glass viewing wall!
NOTE: BADGERS WILL BE OFF EXHIBIT FOR THE NEXT FEW WEEKS AS WE UPGRADE THEIR FEEDING DENS. (posted June 8, 2015)
If you've heard of a honey badger (or ratel), you've probably seen or heard about Randall's viral YouTube honey badger video (Warning PG-13 language). With tens of millions of views, it's brought great awareness about these fierce creatures. And Randall even did a custom Naples Zoo badger video about our badgers here in Naples.
In South Africa, the idiom “tough as nails” doesn’t cut it. To assert a rough-and-ready attitude, the phrase is “as tough as a ratel.” These fearless and persistent creatures are recorded attacking cobras, shredding into beehives amidst the stinging swarm, and even chasing lions off their kills.
All the more amazing when you consider this brashness is bottled inside a mere 25-pound creature with the deceptively friendly nickname of African honey badger. We are now one of only four American zoos and the only zoo in the SE USA where you can see this extraordinary species.
Their diet also includes scorpions, rodents, berries, roots, and tortoises. In a still unknown process, ratels survive envenomation by cobras, puff adders, and other deadly snakes. After killing the snake, the bitten ratel drops and remains still as if dead, but eventually rises from its toxic stupor to eat its would be assassin.
Although commonly associated with Africa, the honey badger ranges all the way to India. When cornered, ratels will savagely attack and predators have learned to leave them alone. Even the South African army named their armored infantry fighting vehicle the ratel in honor of their toughness.
Preparing the Badgers Home
Come see these three furry and fabulous badgers today.