After a recent series of encounters with Honey Badgers, our discussions amongst ourselves and our friends made it evident that there are many a story about these fascinating and tenacious little creatures. In fact, I don’t know of a single bush dweller who doesn’t have a few Honey Badger stories up their sleeve. As such, we have decided to launch a series of blog posts on the Tanda Tula website that we are calling “The Honey Badger Diaries”.
Over the next (as yet undetermined) number of weeks, we are going to run a series of weekly stories on Honey Badgers, starting with our first one today. We invite you to submit your own Honey Badger stories to us (funny, bizarre, scary….. anything goes), and we will publish on our blog the one that is, in our unbiased opinion, the best each week.
We will run the series for as long as we continue to receive good stories and then we will select the best as an overall winner who will then be up for a surprise gift from Tanda Tula. Please email your Honey Badger stories to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or drop us a message on our Facebook page by clicking here.
Enjoy today’s first story in the series, written by our own Don Scott.
Story 1 – A late night attack and a daring capture
Over the last number of weeks, we have experienced a growing number of Honey Badger incursions into our home in the bush. The last of these was probably the most eventful and will leave me with a lasting reminder of why one should always lock your doors at night!
….. 4am…..snoring…… (not me)….. a dustbin is knocked over in the kitchen and I fly out of bed armed with a pair of cotton underpants. The honey badger and I hit the bedroom doorway at the same time – he coming in and me going out. I slam the door only to realise that I have left him with free reign on the rest of our house and the 3 sleeping children. Nina slowly opens the bedroom door, whilst I am frantically dressing (because Honey Badgers don’t like poorly dressed adversaries), and she exclaims that the badger has just run into the boys’ bedroom! We both scramble out of our bedroom, Nina goes to open all the doors in the house, to aid the badger’s escape, and I grab a dining room chair to impersonate a circus performer! Still not sure what to do with the dining room chair, I gingerly approach the bedroom as our son Roscoe comes out at speed with the words “there’s a honey badger in my bedroom” echoeing as he flies past to the safety of our bedroom – one child down, two to go! I station myself in the entrance to Jake’s (our youngest) bedroom, and try to get eyes on the badger. He has climbed over Roscoe’s friend Jayden (who is still sleeping!) and is now trying to pull the sliding door open to get out of the house. I wrestle with the options of whether to go in and fetch Jayden and possibly create a worse situation than I am already faced with, or to distract the badger out of the bedroom without waking the sleeping child. The distraction tactic wins hands down , and the badger scoots past my deadly dining room chair and into the lounge, where he pointedly ignores all of the wide open doors and heads into the kitchen to try and exit out of yet another locked sliding door. In doing this he encounters Nina, who is armed with a frying pan and a very fetching set of polka dot pyjamas! Nina executes an olympian standing leap onto one of the kitchen counters whilst the badger proceeds to move a kitchen cabinet away from the wall to access his chosen escape route. At this point I approach from outside the house, and seeing me, he finally chooses the easiest route out of one of the open sliding doors and disappears into the night.
We are all left a little breathless and high on adrenaline….. except for Jayden who is still snoring….
After such a direct disregard for the dangers of humans, we decide that the honey badger has to go. The Timbavati warden provides us with a special cage for this type of capture and Dale, as the resident animal expert, sets about preparing the cage for the capture. After the allotted night we awake to find not one, but two badgers have been captured – one that took the bait and was caught in the cage, and another huge male (the one who did the housebreaking) who managed to get himself caught in our recycling cage.
Our bush team drives some 30km away to drop the first badger into a remote area of the Greater Kruger, whilst Dale and his team enact the dangerous task of getting the big badger out of the recycling cage and into the transport cage. After a lot of snarling, scratching and running into the corners to hide, Dale’s team finally pluck up the courage to deal with the badger! The capture is as swift as it is smelly, with the badger giving us all a whiff of his distaste for being moved from such ideal scavenging grounds. Once in the cage, however, it is clear that we have caught a serial offender, as he settles down so comfortably in the familiarity of the cage it almost looks like he is ready to order a G&T as we head off to drop him with his mate deep in the bush.
Story by Don Scott
Stay tuned for more exciting tales of the Honey Badger and don’t forget to send us your stories for inclusion within the Honey Badger diaries (email@example.com).
Until next time!