I am in the very fortunate position of being involved in the conservation of these animals and being in touch with conservationists who have hand raised orphaned badgers, who have studied honey badgers, who rescue, rehabilitate and release badgers.
I have such a passion for these animals.
During 2012 I saw an ad whereby a honey badger was to be auctioned in Limpopo.
It is a long story because it is illegal to trade with them and you require TOPS and other permits for them.
I stopped the auction, made an offer for her and bought her.
I worked with a Wildlife rehabilitation centre and we darted her in the 3m x 3m cage where she had spent her 2 years.
Badgers are nomadic and this girl had injured herself and bit her teeth through right up to the roots in her attempts to escape captivity.
Subsequently she could not drink water or eat properly.
She was underweight, dehydrated and in poor physical health when the vets at the zoo examined her.
The zoo was a place of safety whilst her home in the Kalahari was prepared.
She had been fed donkey meat which is not their natural diet.
The keeper told us he did not really know what a badger's diet consists of.
She had to undergo dental surgery at Onderstepoort: 4 x root canals to repair the damage of an insufficient diet and biting her steel and concrete cage.
After a week of vitamin and minerals and a diet consisting of her natural food it was time ...the glorious day she was taken to one of the largest reserves in the Kalahari where a soft rehabilitation process begun.
When the door of the travelling cage was opened she sped out, ran along the fence of her boma, saw some bushes and hid herself in an old aardvark hole.
By the next morning she had dug her own house
The rehabilitation process included providing her with her natural food until she started hunting for birds, mice, spiders and snakes on her own.
After about two weeks the gate was opened.
She went out and explored this vast new freedom but returned to her boma until she was ready to go. Recently (this month) another two honey badgers were released from a life of captivity into the vast freedom of the Kalahari following a soft rehabilitation process.
We are currently working with the *** on the badger friendly products.
I am also involved with an organization in the Western Cape where badgers are persecuted by bee keepers. We had a very special honey badger girl there called Hope who lost her hind leg in a gin trap set by a bee keeper.
That is another story in it's own right but a sad ending. She was killed by a car.
During our September visit to the KNP we saw two badgers, one of them was paralyzed in the back and pulling itself by the front legs.
This was on the S50.
Please keep a look out for them and report sightings of the paralyzed badger to the Mopani ranger or to Amis and Stanley.
I have all the pictures of both these stories and will make an effort to post them.
We can all help in their survival by fighting against the sale of gin traps, reporting people who sell gin traps, buying only EWT badger friendly products etc.