There is often a lot of debate as to what the toughest animal in the world is. While there are a lot of options and creatures to choose from, people have always seemed to settle on one creature of astounding cajones. As a recent clip shows, it isn’t a bear or a boar that holds the title of “earth’s toughest creatures,” but the lowly honey badger!
The clip is pretty short – less than 20 seconds – but that’s all we need to see to display the toughness of these creatures! In the incredible video, we are able to witness a honey badger withstand the full attack of three of Africa’s most deadly creatures: leopards.
Generally, a single leopard is able to take on anything smaller than itself, plus a lot of animals substantially larger than it. Still, despite that, one single honey badger is able to dissuade three leopards from trying to make it their lunch. Generally, an African leopard weighs around 130 lbs, while a honey badger weighs a mere 25 lbs. On top of the weight and numbers advantage, the leopards also have razor-sharp retractable claws, 2-3 inch long teeth, and the killer instinct of one of the earth’s deadliest cats.
Still, despite these advantages, the honey badger is able to hold its own! As the clip shows, the three leopards repeatedly try to attack the much smaller creature, biting and scratching at it whenever it turns its back. Instead of trying to run, however, the honey badger does something that badgers are known for: it goes on the offensive! Running after the leopards, the badger doesn’t show an ounce of fear, but pursues the leopards like it’s the one trying to eat them!
Besides its clearly unaffected attitude towards the apex predators, badgers also have some advantages that help them to be so tough. Among the most important adaptations, especially in this scenario, is the skin of a badger. Honey badgers have extremely thick skin that is known to be super loose. This trait is what allows them to easily raid bee hives, but also doubles as a wonderful defensive ability when the situation demands it.
In many places throughout Africa, where the honey badger lives, it is known to be a pest because of how determined and difficult to deter they can be. In fact, honey badger skin is so tough that it is known to deflect multiple machete blows and is nearly impervious to arrows and spears. The only way that humans can deter a honey badger is with a club to the head or a bullet.
As these three leopards discovered, the badger wasn’t trapped with them, they were trapped with the badger! Defending yourself against some of the most fearsome predators in the world and coming out on top is a real feat, which is why we think the honey badger is among the toughest animals on the planet.