Can You Own A Honey Badger As a Pet? Is It Legal

Can Honey Badgers be kept as pets? Can you Domesticate Honey Badgers? Honey Badgers, opposite to their name, have a salty personality and a sour temperament. Though they have a fascinating appearance and look cute, their reality is quite different. So, can you own Honey Badgers as pets?

Well, no, Honey Badgers are wild animals, and keeping them as a pet is one of the worst decisions. These exotic animals and off-limit for domestication and even impossible to tame. Besides that, most countries worldwide have imposed a ban on keeping Honey Badgers as a pet. None other than licensed wildlife facilities can keep them or involve in any kind of activities regarding the animal.

Here are more details about the same. Continue reading to get the most out of it.

Honey Badger Species Taxonomy

NameHoney Badger
Other NamesRatels
Scientific NamesMellivora capensis
KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassMammalia
OrderCarnivora
Family and SubfamilyMustelidae and Mellivorinae
SpeciesM. capensis
GenusMellivora
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
SizeHeight: 23 to 28 cm (Adult, At Shoulder)
Length: 55 to 77 cm (Adult)
Mass: 9 to 16 kg (Male, Adult),
5 to 10 kg (Female, Adult)
LifespanAbout 7 to 8 years in the wild
up to 24 years in captivity

Are Honey Badgers legal in the U.S.?

Is It Legal To Keep Honey Badger As A Pet? Honey Badger is a dangerous animal; thus, keeping them as pets is restricted in most parts of the world.

Almost all states in the United States of America have imposed a ban on possessing, domesticating, trading, and transporting Honey Badger. The tight restriction on their own is essential to keep animals as well as humans safe. 

Besides that, Honey Badgers are listed in Appendix III of CITES in Botswana and Ghana.

According to Appendix III, States and Countries are requested to regulate and restrict unsustainable or illegal exploitation (CITES 2004) of Honey Badger.

Even international trade of these exotic animals is allowed under the presentation of the appropriate permits or certificates. 

Do Honey Badgers make good pets?

Can you have Honey Badgers as pets? Having Honey Badgers as pets is impossible since no (almost) country or state allows their lawful possession.

Government and other Animal welfare authorities ensure protecting these species from all kinds of exploitation and cruelty. Different countries protect them under different laws; thus, possessing them can prove tricky and tedious for a private individual.

Besides their conservation and protection, what makes Honey Badgers unsuitable as pets is their wild and aggressive behavior. Due to this, they by no means can make good pets.

Despite their small size and cute appearance, Honey Badgers are dangerous and always ready to attack. All the common domestic animals are their prey which makes it difficult to co-pet them with other canines and felines.

In addition to that, their unpredictable temperament also makes Honey Badgers aggressive towards humans. On multiple given occasions, they can attack, harm, or even kill humans.

More about Honey Badgers

What Do Honey Badgers Evolve From?

Honey Badger, which is also known as Ratel, is the only living species in the genus Mellivora. This small mammal is known for being fierce and feisty; thus, their presence around humans and domestic animals is strongly discouraged. 

History of Honey Badger: Honey Badgers are native to Africa, Southwest Asia, and the Indian Subcontinent.

Today, only one species of these exotic animals is present around; however, still, they are present in a large number. 

Evolution/ History of Honey Badgers: The records of the first appearance of Honey Badgers are noted in Asia during the middle Pliocene (5.333 million to 2.58 million years before).

According to research, Honey Badgers initially had several species; however, it’s been 7 million years since their extinction.

Some of these species include Howellictis (from Chad), Promellivora (from Pakistan), and Mellivora Benfield (from South Africa). Besides these, some other species evolved into different animals with time.

Honey Badger Housing Needs

Honey Badgers in captivity (Zoo or other similar organization) needs a large habitat. They move around quite often and especially during the night. In captivity, their enclosure should have at least one to two acres of space.

While male Honey Badgers maintain a home range of 200 square miles, females have a smaller range of 50 to 100 square miles.

It is essential to cover the enclosure from all sides and even 3 feet into the ground since Honey Badgers can climb and dig in order to escape. Adding rocks, aquatic features, small trees, ropes, and holes under tree roots will make the animal feel more like wild.

Honey Badger Temperature and Humidity Needs

Honey Badgers can adapt to different climatic conditions, from warm rain forests to cool mountains.

However, the temperature which is too hot or too cold can hamper their living style and health.

Therefore, it is better to manage the temperature between 15 degrees Celsius to 35 degrees Celsius. 

Honey Badger Dietary Needs

Honey Badgers are hardcore opportunistic carnivores. In the wild, they will feed on any meat (animal) they find.

They prefer hunting alone or in breeding pairs. Some of the common prey they prefer in the wild include bee larvae, Honey, rabbits, frogs, eggs, and chickens.

Their teeth are so strong that they won’t leave even feathers and bones. Honey Badgers also try to dig up and feed on human corpses in the wild.

How Much Does a Honey Badger Cost?

Estimating the purchasing cost of Honey Badgers is tricky since none of them is on sale.

However, even if they were, expect them to come no less than $4000 to $5000 or even more.

Where to buy a Honey Badger?

Where to find a Honey Badger Breeder? Buying a Honey Badger is a near-impossible task since there are none in the sale.

No pet store across the world has them in stock or can even try to arrange them.

Thus, if you come across any such, chances are either you are going to get fooled or trapped in some illegal activities.

Besides that, only a few certified Honey Badger Breeders are present worldwide. However, these breeders do not deal with anyone beyond Zoos and Wildlife organizations for trading Honey Badgers. Therefore, even if you find one, you can’t actually try to buy the animal.

The only way to possess a Honey Badger is by catching it from the wild. However, doing so is no less risky than entering a lion’s cave.

And just in case you succeed, importing the animal to your home state or country is the next impossible thing you will face.

Honey Badger Facts for Kids

  1. Honey Badgers are super smart and possibly one of the most intelligent animals on planet earth.
  2. Honey Badgers can eat anything, literally anything that is available around. 
  3. Honey Badgers have super sharp teeth, which makes it easier for them to break through a tortoise shell. Not only that, but these animals can even chew through metal locks.
  4. Honey Badgers have incredibly long nails, which makes them good diggers.
  5. The thickness of Honey Badger’s skin is as same as that of Buffalo.
  6. Their tail’s base has a very smelly gland that contains a stinky liquid. Therefore, even if you get near Honey Badger for a minute, you will have to face some odd smell.
  7. Honey badgers are quarrelsome and love to pick a fight purposefully.
  8. Honey badgers enjoy eating Honey.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a Honey Badger kill humans?

Honey Badgers are dangerous animals who stalk humans aggressively. In the past, during the mid of 20th century, there was an instance where a Honey Badger attacked an individual, letting him bleed to death. There was no instance thereafter; however, the possibility is still alive.

Are badgers good pets?

No, Honey Badgers are not an ideal animal to have as a pet. Keeping them in domestic space can trouble humans to a great extent.

Can a honey badger survive a bullet?

Honey Badgers have very thick skin, which made this notion that they can survive a bullet. However, a bludgeon or a gunshot to their heat can successfully kill them.

What to do if you encountered a honey badger?

Upon encountering a Honey Badger, do not panic and try finding a hiding spot or an escape route. Remember, you can’t fight these animals; thus, attacking them would be the worst decision of your life.

Caution: Killing or harming a Honey Badger is a criminal offense.

Wrapping Up…

If the idea of keeping Honey Badgers as a pet is fascinating, then you are on the wrong route. Honey badgers are wild animals, and therefore they make one of the worst possible pets.

Humans or other domestic animals simply can’t get close to them. Besides that, caring for and providing a good lifestyle to these animals in captivity is a near-impossible task.