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Ratel is a Dutch-derived name for Mellivora capensis, also known as the Honey badger. The ratel is a lesser-known member of the weasel family Mustelidae native to Africa and Asia that resembles the related badgers and is the sole living member of the genus Mellivora. As the name "honey badger" implies, they often raid beehives to feed on honey and bee larvae.

The ratel is a favorite adopted species of artist Richard E. Dye, used for his character HoneyBadger. Also, the main characters in Matt J. McCullar's Fornax stories are ratel quintuplets.


The ratel has a long body, with a short muzzle, short and sturdy legs. It has black fur, with a large white band from the head to the tail.


The ratel is a good digger, it will use old burrows of aardvarks, warthogs and termites. If any animals come near its burrow, it will attack them. It is known to savagely and fearlessly attack almost any other species when escape is impossible, even repelling much larger predators such as lions and hyenas. A few natural predators of the ratel include leopards and African rock pythons. Because of their thick skin, they are immune to snake venom, Bee stings, porcupine quills, and other animal bites. Like other members of the weasel family, their odor is used to mark their territory and to defend themselves and to cause swarm of bees to leave their hive.

See also[edit]

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