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"Every time I devised some plan, it was like a game for him."
April 21, 2014 9:50 AM   Subscribe

Stofle the honey badger cannot be contained. posted by Sokka shot first (58 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

 
HONEY BADGER PRISON BREAK.

I feel like that should be the title of a minicomic.

....dammit now I want to draw that minicomic.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 9:59 AM on April 21 [3 favorites]


Honey Badger don't care!
posted by Outlawyr at 10:10 AM on April 21


why didn't they just make the walls taller? Why didn't they just put a lock (requiring a key) on the gate?
posted by rebent at 10:11 AM on April 21 [3 favorites]


why didn't they just make the walls taller? Why didn't they just put a lock (requiring a key) on the gate?

You're solving the wrong problem.
posted by maudlin at 10:12 AM on April 21 [2 favorites]


The fact that they are that smart makes it all the more sad that they are being imprisoned in the first place.
posted by Poldo at 10:13 AM on April 21 [12 favorites]


poldo: Pretty sure they are rescue animals that, having been acclimated to the human food, would not be safe to return to the wild. They would start to seek out human trash, and could become dangerous, even lethal, to humans. The choice between "heal it then keep it captive for the rest of its life" and "kill it", I guess.
posted by rebent at 10:18 AM on April 21 [3 favorites]


I just want to go around saying "After Stofle's severe mauling by the lions, Brian knew that he had to get his badger under control," in random and inappropriate contexts.

Because, honestly, how many legitimate opportunities am I going to get?
posted by Naberius at 10:23 AM on April 21 [13 favorites]


They ran this show on Nature on PBS as well. He's a crazy mofo, that badger. He sneaks into the lion's den and just attacks the lions for shits and giggles. Then later he does it again and this time the lions win and he spends the next several months being patched up in the veterinary ward.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:24 AM on April 21 [21 favorites]


Me thinks the warden enjoys the game just as much (maybe more so) than Stofle.
posted by 2bucksplus at 10:33 AM on April 21 [7 favorites]


Sometime honey badger care so much honey badger break out of prison of the heart.
posted by zippy at 10:39 AM on April 21 [15 favorites]


The part that got me most was the pile of mud -- he actually reasoned a way of constructing something that was rigid enough to support his weight. He was smart enough to determine that when mud dries, it hardens. The leap in logical reasoning required to accomplish that is astonishing.
posted by spiderskull at 10:42 AM on April 21 [22 favorites]


I'm waiting to see Honey Badger versus the Corbies.

Who will win the BATTLE OF CUNNING?
posted by blurker at 10:43 AM on April 21 [3 favorites]


I watched this episode of Nature and it was some scary stuff to learn that besides their reputations for toughness and not backing down being so well-deserved, they have a skunk-style stink weapon AND they're really smart.

Those little bastards get thumbs and we're done for.
posted by Zed at 10:44 AM on April 21 [5 favorites]


The fact that they are that smart makes it all the more sad that they are being imprisoned in the first place.

The backstory (apparently -- I haven't verified this) is that someone tried to domesticate this particular honey badger, and when they couldn't they handed it over to the warden. The warden's concerned he won't survive in the wild, so they keep him in the rescue facility.
posted by spiderskull at 10:45 AM on April 21 [1 favorite]


Spiderskull: Logical reasoning is not necessary. Training several distinct behaviors: using ladders to climb, moving things to specific places, and making mud piles, are probably all that's required for even a pigeon to do an analogue.
posted by rebent at 10:46 AM on April 21 [2 favorites]


One time, I beat up a horse-sized honey badger.
posted by planetesimal at 10:47 AM on April 21 [1 favorite]


Theme Song for honey badgers. I would have preferred an interview with the equivalent Col. Hogan instead of listening to the equivalent Schultz's excuses.
posted by Nanukthedog at 10:53 AM on April 21 [2 favorites]


Why doesn't that cameraman stop the badger from escaping? He seems to be right there every time.
posted by mullacc at 11:12 AM on April 21 [33 favorites]


I watched this episode of Nature and it was some scary stuff to learn that besides their reputations for toughness and not backing down being so well-deserved, they have a skunk-style stink weapon AND they're really smart.

Seriously. If I was a lady honey badger I would totally keep falling for the Stofles and then end up posting a question on the green about why I can't find a stable honey badger to settle down with.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:19 AM on April 21 [24 favorites]


Presumably they will survive anthropogenic climate change. So, give these guys a million years or so and...
posted by KokuRyu at 11:30 AM on April 21 [1 favorite]


After Stofle's severe mauling by the lions,

I thought they just had to put the honey badger pen somewhere inside the lion enclosure. They clearly caught him the last time he was running around in their area...
posted by ceribus peribus at 11:32 AM on April 21


I know that he would probably savage me to death and then eat my corpse, but damn if I don't want to scratch him on his sleek clever head.
posted by WidgetAlley at 11:42 AM on April 21 [2 favorites]


Later in that episode, I think it was the lady honey badger who figured out how to outsmart the badger proof hive set up. She might be able to survive without the green.
posted by korej at 11:53 AM on April 21 [1 favorite]


Stofle is _so bored_ in that pen! If he's that intelligent, of course he's going to want to get out. If he is successfully confined in there, he'll probably go insane. He needs, like, computer games and food puzzles -- the most advanced ever devised!

That said, I tried to see the whole BBC documentary so I could find out whatever happened to Stofle, but can't view it.

What's the ending to the story? Is Stofle OK? Is he mentally engaged? Did he manage to get his own house yet?
posted by amtho at 11:59 AM on April 21 [2 favorites]


What I want to know is how do you catch a honey badger that clearly doesn't want to be caught? Surely one doesn't just pick up and carry a honey badger. Especially back to the place he desperately wants to escape.
posted by fremen at 12:06 PM on April 21 [1 favorite]


I don't understand why Stofle's pen isn't called Badgertraz.
posted by The River Ivel at 12:09 PM on April 21 [5 favorites]


If it's that smart, why is it fucking with the lions? Real question, based in part on a real depressing article about how elephants and whales are routinely losing their shit in captivity because of lack of stimulation from their natural habitats. I mean, is this a genius dick of a badger, or a genius psycho of a badger?
posted by angrycat at 12:41 PM on April 21 [1 favorite]


One time, I beat up a horse-sized honey badger.
posted by planetesimal at 10:47 AM on April 21 [+] [!]


Well, that's easy for you to do. You're approximately one kilometer in diameter, and are floating around in goddamn space.
posted by AdamCSnider at 12:55 PM on April 21 [4 favorites]


It might be that they could be trained for recovery work in collapsed buildings and avalanches and such.
posted by carping demon at 1:06 PM on April 21


They probably can't be trained out of the urge to claw faces off, however.
posted by planetesimal at 1:31 PM on April 21 [4 favorites]


One method Honey Badgers use when attacking larger prey is to castrate them and then wait for the animal to weaken from bleeding.

That just ain't right.
posted by mrbigmuscles at 1:33 PM on April 21 [8 favorites]


One method Honey Badgers use when attacking...

So I guess now we know why a cameraman didn't interfere.
posted by ringu0 at 1:40 PM on April 21 [11 favorites]


Stoffel
posted by Flashman at 1:51 PM on April 21 [1 favorite]


Later in that episode, I think it was the lady honey badger who figured out how to outsmart the badger proof hive set up. She might be able to survive without the green.

how get out of big place?

we got out of small place and into office with computer but still in big place with locks and guards. know danger of running into big cat again but got to be free, got plans on hold. wait think we found key. how use key? do we hit lock with key? there hole in lock shaped like end of key. will try to insert key into lock and turn, seems good. that works, but still have problem with big gate at front, and once through am going to need to know how to drive. can prob figure out eventually but in rush to make meeting with tennessee, chumley and mr whoopie about money making scheme, help appreciated.

postëd by badgerswithoutconcern to human relations at 3:26 PM - 0 answers +
posted by JHarris at 2:03 PM on April 21 [23 favorites]


Stofle is _so bored_ in that pen! If he's that intelligent, of course he's going to want to get out. If he is successfully confined in there, he'll probably go insane. He needs, like, computer games and food puzzles -- the most advanced ever devised!

49% of all identity thefts are already masterminded by Honey Badgers; I don't see why you would want to up the figure.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:04 PM on April 21 [2 favorites]


(BTW, in making the above, I discovered that now Metafilter now checks for the "posted by" text and blocks comments containing it, which is why the diaeresis over the e in "posted." I guess it's more important that users don't spoof others than that I be able to make silly jokes, but still, I has a sad.)
posted by JHarris at 2:07 PM on April 21 [2 favorites]


If Stofel hadn't been raised by humans the people in the video would certainly not have gotten him back without some severe flesh wounds. He also probably wouldn't be breaking and entering a human house– wild honey badgers typically avoid people.

The sad thing about videos like this is that some very silly people are going to think honey badgers make good pets, totally ignoring how strong willed they are. And more honey badgers are going to end up like Stofel, too used to people to be released into the wild.

Looks like they at least employ him in some projects so he doesn't get too bored
http://youtu.be/KSoNKpBQgJc
posted by melissam at 2:10 PM on April 21 [2 favorites]


The fact that they are that smart makes it all the more sad that they are being imprisoned in the first place.

I got the impression that honey badgers, like goats and horses, don't want to escape escape. Like not into the wild. They just want to fuck with the other animals, maybe do a little property damage and gorge themselves after opening the feed room.
posted by fshgrl at 2:51 PM on April 21 [2 favorites]


Hey! I think I found the entire episode on the PBS web site. Going to watch it tonight!
posted by amtho at 3:07 PM on April 21 [4 favorites]


Already chuckled in the first 50 seconds. Stopping now.
posted by amtho at 3:08 PM on April 21 [1 favorite]


The part that got me most was the pile of mud -- he actually reasoned a way of constructing something that was rigid enough to support his weight. He was smart enough to determine that when mud dries, it hardens. The leap in logical reasoning required to accomplish that is astonishing.

Alternately, the reasoning went:

1) I can pile this stuff up like the other stuff
2) Nope, that doesn't work

[one hour later]

3) Hey, look at that stuff piled in the corner! Wonder if I can climb it?
4) Success!
posted by zippy at 3:16 PM on April 21 [2 favorites]


"A Honey Badger eats a variety of food items including: porcupines, small crocodiles, berries, roots, scorpions, snakes, eggs, insects, rodents, birds, fruit, frogs, human corpses, honey, sheep, horses, etc. Basically, if they can kill it or come across the dead body of the animal, they’ll eat it. They also like to eat fruits and melons, which, along with blood, is often one of their primary sources for water. Snakes typically account for about half the total food Honey Badgers eat."

For a fearless vampiric killing machine this sounds like a surprisingly balanced diet.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 3:19 PM on April 21 [7 favorites]


I love Stofle so much. I wish I were a honey badger so society wouldn't frown on our love.
posted by axoplasm at 3:29 PM on April 21 [9 favorites]


"A Honey Badger eats a variety of food items including: porcupines, small crocodiles, berries, roots, scorpions, snakes, eggs, insects, rodents, birds, fruit, frogs, human corpses, honey, sheep, horses, etc.

I think they cribbed that list from here.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:30 PM on April 21 [4 favorites]


You know, honey badgers don't seem merely fearless, they seem to be actively impelled to seek out and attack things which are intrinsically, instinctively fearsome for other animals, hives of killer bees, king cobras, lions, etc., as if they haven't so much lost their instinctive fears as turned them inside out, into targets for aggression.

Which is a lot like us, actually.

No wonder they seem so human, and no wonder they seem to have such a human capacity for mischief and cruelty -- if not evil.
posted by jamjam at 4:02 PM on April 21 [3 favorites]


I think they cribbed that list from here.

Man I miss the old Loony Tunes cartoons.
posted by mrbigmuscles at 4:29 PM on April 21 [1 favorite]


they haven't so much lost their instinctive fears as turned them inside out

just like their eversible anal glands

eversible anal glands

EVERSIBLE ANAL GLANDS
posted by zippy at 4:32 PM on April 21 [7 favorites]


Looks like they at least employ him in some projects so he doesn't get too bored.

RELEASE THE HONEY BADGER!

Yup, honey badger tore the shit out of the badger-proof bee hive protector.

Honey badger laughs at your efforts.
posted by BlueHorse at 4:56 PM on April 21


I almost made it an ask.metafilter question but asked on my facebook this week if honey badgers were real or a made-up thing like drop bears, because OMG how are they real?? People assured me they are, but I am still ever so slightly sceptical that they are a widespread internet meme.

Also, they are definitely the real mascot for Hufflepuffs.

Slate: Can a honey badger win a fight with a wolverine? and Daily Mail: Don't mess with this honey monster! How one couple's adopted badger showed them who was boss persuaded me not to look into getting a honey badger as a pet.
posted by viggorlijah at 6:44 PM on April 21 [1 favorite]


Maybe the solution to the honey badger containment problem is to have a larger, real pen around a smaller, fake one. Let the badger have the satisfaction of escaping from the smaller one, maybe even keep some treats in the bigger one so they feel like they're beating the system.

Hmm... there's the possibility that this will just provide them in escape practice. Never mind.
posted by JHarris at 7:07 PM on April 21


Maybe some of you guys missed it the first time around, but a tenacious honey badger had a starring role in The Gods Must Be Crazy II.
posted by Flashman at 8:52 PM on April 21 [1 favorite]


K, I thought all y'all were kidding and now my mouth is dragging on the floor because here I thought only animals like otters and apes used tools. What the hell, honey badger. Use your powers for good, please!
posted by Hermione Granger at 8:57 PM on April 21 [1 favorite]


I can totally see Uncle Sam training these scary-smart, ferocious, fearless honey badgers for dangerous covert missions. Honey Badger Team Six.
posted by Devils Slide at 10:07 PM on April 21


They ran this show on Nature on PBS as well. He's a crazy mofo, that badger.

Ah, that's where I saw this. Honey badger is a badass.
posted by homunculus at 10:34 PM on April 21


Honey badger doesn't give a fuck.
posted by univac at 2:29 AM on April 22


spiderskull: The part that got me most was the pile of mud -- he actually reasoned a way of constructing something that was rigid enough to support his weight. He was smart enough to determine that when mud dries, it hardens. The leap in logical reasoning required to accomplish that is astonishing.

Exactly. This animal is changing its environment by building tools (the mud balls) that it has never been observed building in the wild and constructing a structure able to support its own weight.

The average dog, once it has wrapped its leash around a pole limiting its range to 10" of movement, will be trapped, because it cannot imagine how to undo what it has accidentally done. They aren't stupid; their intelligence simply cannot achieve that task. Goats, cows, and horses face similar shortcomings. They can chew, break or dig to escape - literal break-outs - but they cannot build to do so.

This honeybadger feels like it might be capable of breaking out of a padlocked cell by forging a crude key from some sunbaked mud. Then it makes its way to the clothesline, and grabbed a pair of pants and a shirt. Using branches as stilts, Stoffle managed to make his way to town, where he secured a job and placed a downpayment on a (admittedly small and unfashionable) flat before he was caught... Had he not gotten into that dust-up with the Lions fan at the bar, he might never have been discovered.

rebent: Spiderskull: Logical reasoning is not necessary. Training several distinct behaviors: using ladders to climb, moving things to specific places, and making mud piles, are probably all that's required for even a pigeon to do an analogue.

1. This honey badger wasn't trained. (Unless you believe this is a hoax)

2. The fact that a pigeon can do it doesn't prove... much. You haven't proven, for instance, that pigeons aren't also capable of logical reasoning.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:17 AM on April 22 [2 favorites]


Why doesn't that cameraman stop the badger from escaping? He seems to be right there every time.

The cameras were actually set up by Stoffle to document his escapes so he could work on his technique. They were confiscated later by the warden.
posted by yoink at 9:38 AM on April 22 [11 favorites]


IAmBroom: replace "training" with "learning" - via nature, via the previous owners, etc. I don't think it matters who or what taught the honeybadger these behaviors - the important thing is that the honeybadger had them in its repertoire.

All that is required is the behaviors in its repertoire. That's what the pigeon experiment concluded. Spiderskull suggested:

he actually reasoned a way of constructing something that was rigid enough to support his weight. He was smart enough to determine that when mud dries, it hardens. The leap in logical reasoning required to accomplish that is astonishing.

This to my mind requires a brain that can do things like sit there and think "hmmm, i would like to get out. but drat those walls are too high. I know, I'll build a pile to get out! But, what do I have that's strong enough to support my weight? Cardboard? No, that's too heavy. String? Great tension strength, but I'd have to get the other end up there. Well, what do I have? I have a lot of mud, that's what. Good thing that mud gets strong enough to support my weight when it hardens! I also am able to make balls out of mud, that'll do it! Then I can lump it over by the fence, and climb out once it dries! But I'd better not try to climb it before the mud dries, because that won't work."

This is adding logic where it's not necessary. I tried to write what Stoffle might actually think if it could think, and came up blank, because I just don't see behavior as having logical motivation.

It'd be similar if someone saw me walking down the street and came up with a similar logical plan, like:

"hmm, I would like to move two feet forward. But what do I have that can do that? I know, I could move my foot there, and then shift my weight! That aught'a do the trick! hm, i guess the best way to do that would be to first lift my foot off the ground so as to reduce friction, then engage my leg muscles to bring it forward. I wonder if I can risk moving my weight forward while moving my foot forward, or if I should first secure my foot in the position two feet forward before shifting my weight?"

I would not see someone walking down the street and conclude "He is actually reasoned a way of contracting his muscles to convey him forward. He was smart enough to determine that, before moving the foot, he should lift it off the ground. The leap in logical reasoning required to accomplish that is astonishing."
posted by rebent at 11:40 AM on April 22 [2 favorites]


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