African Ratel, or Honey Badger
The earliest descriptions of the ratel that I can find describe it as a repulsive and lazy creature, with an awkward waddle and thieving ways (as they were thought to steal honey from beehives - no one realized they were after the bee larvae until the turn of the century). Really, no one took much interest in them, and as largely solitary creatures, they weren’t the easiest targets for study.
Still, by the time this photograph was taken (at the Transvaal Zoological Gardens in Transvaal Colony, South Africa), people that were around the ratel had a hell of a lot more respect for them. It’s written that they were fighters with tenacious ways, whose “waddle” was caused by the size of their muscles and depth of their chest (lending them great endurance), and that they could dig as well as they could climb. Yes, the Zoological Gardens found that out the hard way. Their ratel apparently escaped at one point. I don’t know if this is the escapee or a different one, but he looks fierce.
Animal Life in Africa: Book 1, Carnivora. Major James Stevenson-Hamilton, 1912.