First things first – Stoffel the honey badger was raised by humans from birth and does not know how to operate in the wild. So that’s why a South African animal sanctuary has adopted him long-term. And despite his penchant for mischief (and destruction), they’ve committed to making his life better in every way.
Stoffel lives at the Moholoholo Wildlife and Rehabilitation Center in South Africa. And it seems that no matter how well he is treated, the one thing he doesn’t like is living in an enclosure (regardless of how luxurious that enclosure is). The challenge is that every time Stoffel escapes his enclosure (which is always), he destroys property and fights (and sometimes kills) other animals.
In 2016, after building him a new enclosure, the facility wrote on Facebook:
“Stoffel Does it Again!!! Our charismatic honey badger otherwise known as Houdini proved his intelligence levels yet again last night. After recently extending his enclosure, Stoffel now has two new trees to climb, a new climbing frame to explore, and a puzzle block in which we hide yummy treats inside. Not content with his lavish new accommodation, Stoffel decided to check out neighboring facilities which just happened to be the student common room!!! He certainly had fun on his latest adventure. Destroying the cushions, moving furniture, marking his scent on the couch, knocking over the tea and coffee jars, and finally helping himself to last night’s dinner. Just a pity he couldn’t clean up after himself! After being safely returned and with a very full tummy, Stoffel watched as Brian and his team tried to work out he did it. ‘He must have been working on the plan overnight. He has broken the branches off the tree. He did something similar before but we thought these were stronger!’ Said Brian. ‘We think he used the broken branches as a ladder and climbed out!’ Stoffel, you are certainly one of a kind!”
One dangerous encounter with two lions put him in the vet clinic for two months. But immediately upon recovering from his injuries, he escaped his enclosure again to go back for Round 2.
According to Africa Geographic, which explained Stoffel’s background after a video of him escaping went viral:
“In the end, Moholoholo was sponsored by Rotary Club to build Stoffel a brick house. Yet, after only a few hours in his new home, he escaped again – in spite of the staff trying different measures to prevent his escape.
In short, a human-imprinted honey badger can be a problem in captivity. However, Stoffel the honey badger will remain loved by all at Moholoholo, and for all who come to visit the centre. He an ambassador for his species.”
Stoffel is still alive and roughly 25 years old. While he has slowed down a bit, he’s managed to pass on his mischief to his playmates. – WTF Fun Facts