Or so says the Guinness Book of World Records. It’s the honey badger, and it’s mean! These beasts (Mellivora capensis), who live in Africa and Asia, are in the family Mustelidae along with skunks, weasels, and otters.
You can find YouTube videos of honey badgers killing or standing up to lions, leopards, and monitor lizards, and they raid African honey bee nests with impunity.
Here’s one chowing down on a puff adder. The badger gets bitten, is incapacitated for two hours, and then recovers to finish its meal. Somehow this species has evolved immunity to the bites of these snakes, which are often deadly to humans.
There are persistent reports that, when attacking large mammals, the badgers go for the naughty bits. These are as yet unconfirmed by biologists:
Do badgers emasculate their prey?
Honey badgers are reputed to go for the scrotum when attacking large animals. The first published record of this behaviour was a circumstantial account by Stevenson- Hamilton (1947) where a badger reportedly castrated an adult Buffalo. Other animals alleged to have been emasculated by honey badgers include wildebeest, waterbuck, kudu, zebra and man [JAC note: I doubt it!]. This has also been reported by other African tribes, but no direct evidence exists to support this behaviour.