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Can You Pet a Ratel

  • Pet Care

Meet the Ratel: A Unique and Interesting Animal

The ratel, also known as the honey badger, is an amazing and unique animal. They are one of the few species of mustelidae, a family of carnivorous mammals related to ferrets, weasels and skunks. With their characteristic black and white fur, bushy tail and fearless behavior, ratels are truly a force to be reckoned with. But, can you pet a ratel? The answer might surprise you.

Ratel as a pet

Where do Ratels Come From?

Most ratels live in Africa, where they can be found in a variety of habitats, including desert and woodland. More recently, ratels have been spotted in the Middle East, where they are known to hunt the highly venomous snake the Levant viper. Other species of ratels can be found in India and parts of Asia.

What Do Ratels Look Like?

Ratel’s most distinguishing feature is its black and white striped fur. This serves as camouflage against predators. The underside of the ratel is usually white, while the tips of the fur, as well as the face and legs, are black. Some ratels are even albino, or entirely white. Ratel’s fur is extremely thick and bristly, which makes it resistant to biting by predators.

Behaviour of the Ratel

Ratel’s are known for their fierce and fearless behaviour. Despite their small size, ratels have been known to not only stand their ground against predators such as leopards and hyenas, but even chase them away. This attracts a lot of attention. As if this was not remarkable enough, ratels have also been known to be able to determine if their attacker is female or male, and adjust their behaviour accordingly.

Can You Pet a Ratel?

While ratels’ behavior is fascinating and admirable, it is not recommended to keep this animal as a pet. Ratels’ wild behaviour remains intact even in captivity, meaning that they can easily become agitated and aggressive. A ratels’ fur is also bristly, which makes them hard to handle and pet.

Ratel Conservation

Ratel’s are threatened by human activities such as poaching, habitat destruction and human-animal conflicts. Some of the main threats to the Ratel are habitat loss and poaching for the bush-meat trade. Conservation efforts such as habitat protection and education are key to ensuring that ratels continues to survive and thrive in the wild.


The ratel is a unique and interesting species with remarkable behaviour, as well as attractive black and white fur. Unfortunately, it is not recommended to pet a ratel, as they can be easily agitated and aggressive. However, conservation efforts will help ensure that ratels remain a part of the natural world.

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