Honey Badger Takes on an Antelope, and It Doesn't Go Well

Honey badger fights antelope.
A brave honey badger took on an oryx, a type of antelope 10 times its size, and was met with a hefty head-butt. (Image credit: Dirk Theron/Caters News)

Honey badgers are one of nature's most fearless creatures, so it should be no surprise that one decided to take on a South African oryx — a type of antelope 10 times its size. But the photos are still shocking and, unfortunately for the honey badger, hilarious.

Dick Theron was visiting Etosha National Park in South Africa when he spotted this lopsided battle take place, the Daily Mail reported. Fortunately for us, Theron grabbed his camera and snapped some incredible photos.

Honey badgers (Mellivora capensis) are native to Africa and parts of Asia and are typically solitary, nocturnal creatures, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Theron told the Daily Mail that the badger approached the antelope at a watering hole and started the fight.

The honey badger was persistent and charged its foe multiple times. (Image credit: Dirk Theron/Caters News)

"It kept on charging at the oryx, then the oryx would hook the badger between its horns and toss him five or six meters (16 to 19 feet) into the air," Theron said. The honey badger "just got up, shook itself and then charged at the oryx again!"

Who knows, maybe this South African oryx (Oryx gazelle) woke up the grumpy honey badger from its daytime slumbers, so he tracked the oryx down at the neighborhood watering hole and picked a fight.

It took multiple tosses before the honey badger backed down. (Image credit: Dirk Theron/Caters News)

The honey badger's tenacious reputation has led several sports stars to be given the nickname. Tyrann Mathieu, a football player for the Houston Texans, was known as the "Honey Badger" when he played for Louisiana State University in 2010 and 2011. Australian rugby player Nick Cummins also touts the "Honey Badger" nickname, according to news.com.au

Original article on Live Science.

Kimberly Hickok
Live Science Contributor

Kimberly has a bachelor's degree in marine biology from Texas A&M University, a master's degree in biology from Southeastern Louisiana University and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is a former reference editor for Live Science and Space.com. Her work has appeared in Inside Science, News from Science, the San Jose Mercury and others. Her favorite stories include those about animals and obscurities. A Texas native, Kim now lives in a California redwood forest.