Do Badgers Eat Snakes? (Yes, They Do)

Badgers are omnivores that belong to the Mustelidae, which include otters, wolverines, ferrets, minks, and weasels to name a few animals that fall under this family. They are pretty impressive animals that can be on the aggressive side so if you ever come across one, you’ll want to run in the opposite direction.

They have a wide and varied diet, which includes many smaller animals. One animal you might think about a badger eating is a snake, which can be a little dangerous depending on what kind of snake. In this article, we’ll find out if badgers really do eat snakes.


Do Honey Badgers and Badgers Eat Snakes?

Honey badgers and badgers absolutely eat snakes. Believe it or not that about 25 percent of the honey badgers diet actually comprise venomous snakes. That is crazy when you think about it. They don’t eat it because there is nothing else available to eat either.

These animals actively seek and hunt these types of snakes. Sure, they eat other kinds of snakes, but 25 percent is a large number!

Badgers will also go after bigger snakes compared to the smaller ones and they don’t even do this because they are desperate for food. They are actively looking for these types of snakes to eat.

Are Honey Badgers and Badgers the Same?

Honey badgers are two different animals that just share one part of the same name. Some differences include:

· Honey badgers have yellowish-brown fur on the upper sides of their body, which regular badgers have.

· Most badgers are carnivorous while honey badgers are omnivorous, though perhaps badgers are as well since they eat plant material.

· Honey badgers have tiny ears while regular badgers have visible ears.

· Honey badgers are only found in Southern Africa, the Middle East, Southern Russia, Far East India, and Nepal. Badgers are found in Africa, the Middle East, Eurasia, and America. They are much more widely dispersed than honey badgers are.

So, honey badgers and badgers are not the same. They are two distinct animals and if you ever saw them side by side, you would know they are different from each other.

What do Badgers and Honey Badgers Usually Eat?

Badgers eat a mix of plant material and meat, despite them mostly being carnivores. They eat:

· Earthworms

· Frogs

· Rodents like mice and rats

· Lizards

· Insects

· Snakes

· Seeds

· Berries

We know honey badgers eat snakes, but they also eat some other things as well. This includes:

· Honey

· Bee Larvae

· Berries

· Roots

· Small mammals

· Reptiles

· Amphibians

· Snakes

Both animals have varied diet.  If they can’t find one type of food, they’ll be able to find another type of food much more easily than say just a plane carnivore would. Again, snakes are foods they also eat so for priority’s sake we put them in the list.

Can a Badger and a Honey Badger Fight a Snake?

Both honey badgers and badgers are extremely aggressive animals with strong claws and jaws so they can absolutely take down a snake. The ultimate winner would be the honey badger, or badger hands down.

While some snakes do have venom on their side, a honey badger regularly hunts snakes that are venomous. Getting to a fight with one is just another day in the life of a honey badger.

There is some venom resistance because they do consume these snakes as about 25 percent of their lifetime diet. Snakes are extremely dangerous, but the honey badger is a great fighter. They go in for the kill and can crush the snake’s skull. If they do get bit, then they can just lie down for a while and wait for the venom to wear off.

What do they do after this? Well, they eat it of course! They aren’t going to just let it sit there and rot or leave it for someone else to eat.

Can a Snake Kill a Badger and a Honey Badger?

Most snakes could not catch a honey badger and then kill it. The only snakes that will be able to even stand a chance of being able to kill these formidable animals are large snakes. These snakes include big pythons or anacondas.

The anaconda can get up to about 16 ft and five inches and this is just the females. While the males are smaller than females, they are about 9 feet and 10 inches on average, which is still pretty big. They can weigh up to 550 pounds so if anything is going to kill a honey badger or badger, it will be an anaconda.

Pythons on the larger end of the spectrum can get all the way to 33 feet and weigh up to 250 pounds at their heaviest. Unlike anaconda’s, there is a wider weight range for pythons. Those pythons on the smaller end of the spectrum probably won’t be able to take down a honey badger.

Still, these are the two snakes that have a fighting chance of going into a fight with a honey badger and coming out the victor.

What Predators do Honey Badgers and Badgers Have?

Because of their aggressive nature, there aren’t many animals that would dare to prey on a honey badger and badger. However, they do have some predators. For badgers, these include:

· Bears

· Wolves

· Cougars

· Bobcats

· Golden Eagles

Unfortunately, humans are probably the biggest predators and threat to badgers. One reason is that they hunt them and use their pelts to make things. Another is that they can be run over by cars or get poisoned/killed by farmers because they view them as pests.

Similar to badgers, honey badgers have few predators because they are very aggressive. Many animals prefer to just avoid being on the receiving end of their sharp claws. Still, there are some animals that will prey on them. They include:

· African Rock Python

· Nile Crocodiles

· African Leopards

· Spotted Hyenas

Another thing that can endanger them is encroachment on their habitat. This is a problem for a lot of animals. Honestly, humans cause a lot of problems for animals and the environment, but that’s an article for another day so that’s all we’ll say on that subject.

Do Honey Badgers and Badgers Attack Farm Animals or Pets?

Unfortunately for farm animals, badgers and honey badgers do like to raid farms looking for small animals to hunt. One of these animals includes chickens, which wouldn’t be that hard for a badger to take down. Any small farm animal is at risk of being attacked by a honey badger or badger.

For pets, they can attack them but prefer to avoid them if possible. If the pet is on the small side and is always kept outside, it’s entirely possible that a badger could attack them. A cat or a dog is unlikely to get attacked unless they were to corner a badger and/or make it feel like it is under some kind of threat.

The best way to keep your farm animals and pets safe is to use fences and keep them inside if it is possible. For farm animals, it’s obviously not always possible to keep them inside but you still want to reinforce the area surrounding the farm. It won’t eliminate attacks, but it will decrease or at least deter the badger.

Do Honey Badgers and Badgers Attack Humans?

Honey badgers and badgers prefer to avoid humans, so they rarely attack them. However, if a badger does feel cornered, threatened, or their young are threatened, then they absolutely will attack.

If you find yourself in this position, what you need to do is turn right around and walk away slowly so as not to spook them. What you don’t want to do, under any circumstances, is approach.

Again, you are unlikely to ever get attacked by a badger because they avoid humans. If you do see one, just keep ongoing and put enough distance between the two of you. By doing this, you can ensure that you will never be on the receiving end of a badger’s very sharp claws, muscular arms and overall body, and strong jaw.

It might not kill you, but it can for sure cause a decent amount of damage that could send you to hospital and/or require stitches.

Final Thoughts

Snakes are pretty formidable animals in their own right and hunt a lot of animals. One animal that is not afraid of them are The Honey Badger or Badgers.

They can absolutely take a snake down and it doesn’t even matter if it is venomous either. A badger can survive getting bit by a snake due to how much resistance they have to the venom that they have built by eating them.

The only snakes that have a chance of taking down a badger are large ones, like a python or anaconda. Other snakes will just end up coming short in a fight against a badger.

Disclaimer: This blog should not be considered as being professional pet medical advice. The content published on this blog is for informational purposes only. Please always consult with a licensed and local veterinarian for medical advice.

About Shaun Clarke

Shaun is passionate about pets and animals, especially dogs, cats, and rabbits. He owns a dog and a couple of cats too. He loves visiting wildlife sanctuaries and shares a strong bond with animals. When he is not writing, he loves to do a barbecue in the backyard with his family and friends.