Satara Summer 2021 – Ratel on the Rampage

We had just retired into our bungalow at Satara Rest Camp on the night of 19 December 2021 when there was an almighty noise of rubbish crashing to the floor outside our unit. Now, it is well known that there are Honey Badgers, aka Ratels, in Satara and so I immediately knew who the culprit was. However, because we know they are there I thought that putting the rubbish bin, with a few kitchen scraps and glass and plastic bottles inside, up high on the narrow kitchenette counter would be an effective measure to prevent any nocturnal raids. This Badger was much more clever than I thought!!! He easily pulled out the three kitchen drawers containing the cooking and eating utensils and used these as a stepladder to get on top of the counter. As I opened the Bungalow door Mr. Ratel scampered away with his chosen prize clenched in his jaws, to enjoy at leisure underneath our vehicle. Now, only those with a death wish would dare tangle with a Honey Badger, so I’d gladly retrieve the empty tub of cream cheese after he’s licked it clean…

While the Badger was enjoying his morsel, we quickly deposited the remaining scraps and bottles in one of the receptacles dotted through the camp, and then set up the camera traps to capture the inevitable return of the marauder. We pushed a chair against his “ladder” as we feared the drawers wouldn’t hold for long under the Ratel’s weight. We then returned the, now empty, rubbish bin atop the counter and went back to bed. The muddy paw prints all over the counter could wait till morning… He probably smelled that the rubbish bin was empty and didn’t try to get to the top again. Our lesson learned, we didn’t leave the rubbish bin outside overnight again.

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