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bovid family
other herbivores

wildlife (back to intro)

in this section
Side-striped Jackal
Wild dog or Cape Hunting dog
Ratel or Honey Badger
Ratel or Honey Badger: Mellivora capensis


Weight and Height
males/females: wt 17.6-32 lb (8-14.5 kg), ht 9-11 in (23-28 cm), hbl 26-30 in (65-75 cm)

Relatively short, 7 to 9 in (18-22 cm) long.

Black with gray or white areas, such as on tail and crown.

General Locations
The badger can be found in most regions south of the Sahara, except for deserts and lowland rainforest. The ratel badger can be found in most of West Africa, south of Morocco.

The ratel badger can live in almost any biome, wet or dry and elevations up to 1 mi (1700 m) which are generally the rainforest regions. The ratel badger will eat anything from insects (such as bees, ants and termites) to mammals to fruits and berries. The ratel can also easily dig for food-- especially the prey which is too difficult for most non-diggers to reach.

The ratel badger is considered diurnal and nocturnal and can easily adapt to the region in which it lives. The ratel can become diurnal or nocturnal depending on which is more efficient. In rural areas, for example, the ratel will sleep during the day and then hunt for food all night.

Social Systems
Currently there have not been any true field-studies completed on the ratel badger. However, ratels are generally seen alone and occasionally in duos or trios. Evidence shows that ratels probably form monogamous pairs for mating.

The gestation period is 6 to 7 months and there are typically 1 to 4 young born in a leaf- or grass-lined nest.

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