The honey badger is a mammal widely distributed in Africa, Southwest Asia, and the
Indian subcontinent. They are tough and well respected animals by even the largest
• Lifespan: 20 years
• Scientific name: Mellivora capensis
• Gestation period: 181 days,
• Mass: Male: 9 – 16 kg (Adult), Female: 5 – 10 kg
Thorough preparation is the key factor to ensuring a high-quality final product. All hides are tanned and oiled using the world’s very best available chemicals and processes to ensure permanence and longevity.Forms are selected to ensure the best fit and posture will be altered to suit you, the client’s preference without additional cost. Natural habitat bases are custom-made for full mount trophies without additional cost.Only the finest materials and 40 years of professional experience are used in defining your trophies in a whole new way. The final trophies are almost Life-Formed. When the restoration is required, every effort is made to repair cuts and abrasions, and to minimise bullet damage. Natural scarring is kept unless otherwise requested.
A ratel is an Afrikaans word for the honey badger, Mellivora capensis. A common saying in Afrikaans is “So taai soos ‘n ratel” — it means “as tough as a honey badger” in English. This is due to the incredibly robust nature of these animals. The skin around the neck is six mm thick, they have teeth like a razor knife, and their claws can cause serious injury.
Honey Badgers wriggle around under their tough skin, protecting their vital organs and skeleton from the impact of a predator’s canine teeth. Anal scent glands are used to make territorial markings. Since these glands are eversible, the animal can flip them inside out and spray a mist of repellant at potential attackers.
Their name comes from their fondness for honey, and they actively seek out beehives, where they are rarely bothered by the resident bees thanks to the immunity they quickly acquire. They do, however, occasionally hunt for smaller animals like rats, frogs, and lizards. Their teeth may be little, but their jaws are strong, allowing them to readily crack bones, shells and skin.
Both the front and back feet have five toes, and the front claws are big and robust, measuring up to 35 mm in length. The toes on the back feet are noticeably shorter and frailer. Each of the fore claws is shaped like a curved knife, being wider at the top and tapering to a point at the bottom.
The hind feet’s claws are blunt and wide, without a cutting edge. The spoor of this animal is distinguished by the fusion of the intermediate pads and the presence of a proximal pad on both the fore and hind feet. The proximal pads may be less noticeable on extremely firm mud.
Honey Badgers inhabit the bushveld and the semi-arid parts of the country. It is hunted in the northern provinces of Northern Cape, North West, Mpumalanga Lowveld, and Limpopo. In Limpopo province, they are typically hunted at night with bait.
Although Honey Badgers are nocturnal, they have been seen during the daytime hunting with a bird known as a Honeyguide. To survive, the bird follows them to a beehive where it feasts on the Badger’s leftovers and larvae.
The IUCN lists this animal as “least concern.” However, in addition to a Threatened or Protected Species (TOPS) permit, you need a special permit to hunt a Honey Badger at night.
Honey badgers are low to the ground, thus shots need to be placed carefully so as not to miss the entire target. It is preferable to use a solid bullet in order to protect the cape. It is best to aim for the centre of the chest while the animal is facing you, and the shoulder when it is broadside. Not a lot of firepower is needed, but careful aim is essential because they are not particularly large creatures. By far, the best way to show off one of these dangerous animals is by full mounting it.
We want our products to look and feel as close as possible to the real thing. Every Honey Badger taxidermy project that turns out well starts with careful planning. Use our 40 years of experience and the best materials available today to make trophies that will last for generations.
We’ve taken great care in selecting all of our forms, and if necessary, we’ll even make free tweaks to the posture at no additional cost. When you acquire one of our full mount trophies, we will also supply you with a complimentary base made to resemble the animal’s natural habitat. During restoration, bullet holes are patched and scratches are fixed as much as possible. Unless you say otherwise, the animal will keep any scars it has.
Good taxidermy relies on high-quality trophy skinning of your hunted animals. As soon as an animal dies, the decaying process begins, and in the hot climate of Africa, it accelerates. While out in the field, take high-resolution close-up photographs of your animal’s face, the back of its ears, and any other skin anomalies.
Skinning must occur immediately. It is important to thoroughly wash the skin after skinning to remove any residual blood. Use clean, cold water that has been treated with a bactericide.
After letting the skin drip dry for a few minutes, you can salt it. Apply generous amounts of salt and rub it deeply into the skin. The salted skin should be rolled up and kept in a cool place. Three or four days later, the skin can be hung up to dry.
The first step in the Honey Badger taxidermy process is to preserve the honey badger’s skin in good shape, with no cuts or other damage.
The skin is then treated with a mix of chemicals to stop it from breaking down and keep it soft and pliable. This is known as tanning. The skin can be tanned in a variety of ways, including through vegetable tanning and chrome tanning.
After the skin has been tanned, a mould or form is made that will be the taxidermy mount’s base. This mould can be made out of foam or fibreglass, and it needs to match the size and shape of the honey badger.The taxidermist also makes sure that the skin is tightly stretched over the mould to get rid of wrinkles and give the animal a natural look. The honey badger’s eyes are mounted properly, completing the creature’s realistic appearance. Most of the time, this is done by making a mould of the eye socket and putting glass or plastic eyes into it. Lastly, the taxidermist gives the honey badger its natural look by rearranging the fur or adding any other details.
It is best to keep your mount out of damp places like basements. A mount needs to be kept dry at all times to prevent mould growth and other problems. Try to keep your mounts away of direct sunlight. Sunlight’s damaging ultraviolet rays cause irreversible and distressing fading to the fur and skin of mounted animals. Your mount will last longer if you hang it in a dry location out of the direct sunshine.
Regular, light dusting is all that’s needed to keep mounts in pristine shape. Dust with a feather duster, then wipe down in the hair’s direction with a damp towel. Avoid damaging the hair by pulling or bending it against its natural growth pattern, and style it as it now exists. Medix Africa is a reliable product that will keep your item in pristine shape. These are used and sold by Life-Form Taxidermy.
The final price of your trophy will depend on factors such as the complexity of your taxidermy request, the number of trophies you want mounted, and the type of mount you want. Get in touch with us for a quote before you go on your hunt.
Mounting an animal can take anything from a few days to many months, depending on the complexity of the mount, the taxidermist’s workload, and the client’s choices for display.