Stompie is a baby honey badger that was one of the first babies bred at the rehab! Stoffel, the famous honey badger at the rehab was given a mate with hopes that it would prevent him from continually trying to escape. Athena the honey badger gave birth to Stompie at the rehab in the early spring of 2016. It was Athena’s first known baby, and she was a very inexperienced mother. Stompie got his name from his “stumpy” tail. The rehab thinks that in trying to sever Stompie’s umbilical cord, Athena may have accidentally bitten off his tail. He also ended up with a pretty bad infection around his eyes and mouth, causing him some pain when he ate.
He was removed from his mother and brought into the care of the girls in the rehab, who fed him and kept his infection clear. He thrived under the care of the rehab workers, and when I arrived he was a little over 6 months old! I was lucky enough to be tasked with his care for a little less than two months while I was there. Stompie was on my rotation starting at 5:30am with several feedings through the day. He was still on milk for a few meals a day along with chicks 2x a day. He pooped a LOT and I spent countless time cleaning up gross honey badger poos in his enclosure hahaha.
All the technical gross stuff isn’t as fun as telling you all about Stompie himself! Stompie is the sweetest little soul. He was so smart (honey badgers are geniuses)! He loved going for walks, and we often took him into the back field and put honey on trees for him to climb up and lick off. He loved being roly-poly, and laying on his back for belly rubs. There was one volunteer I worked with for a little while who built these mobiles to hang in his enclosure and he loved playing with those as well! His playing style was like a kitten, he would chase the rake when I was cleaning his enclosure, and chase a string with a feather on it around on the ground. If someone walked by his enclosure and didn’t pay attention to him he would make little noises until you rubbed his nose through the fencing.
Toward the end of my stay, Stompie made an unlikely friend with the resident rhino orphan, Ntaba. He scratched Ntaba’s legs (if you know a little about rhinos, you may know that they are always looking for something to scratch themselves on) and so the two became the best of friends. It was an accidental meeting with the best possible result. You would not be likely to see a rhino and a honey badger as best friends in the wild!
Stompie made my love for animals with a wild side grow. He was so sweet and kind, and was quite honestly one of the most interesting (and stinky) animals on the rehab. He had amazing people to bring him up, and I was so lucky to spend the small amount of time I did with him! If you’re interested, you can go on YouTube and search “Stoffel the honey badger” and get to know a little bit about honey badgers, Stompie’s father and Moholoholo rehab!
Thanks for reading guys, I hope you’re enjoying my Africa series!