Skip to Main Content
San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance logo
San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Library logo

Ratel/Honey Badger (Mellivora capensis) Fact Sheet: Managed Care

History of Managed Care


  • 1830s: exhibited at the London Zoo (The Gardens and Menagerie of the Royal Society) (Bennett 1830)
    • One of the first animals in the zoo’s collection
    • Brought to London from India

North American (from ZIMS 2014)

  • 1904: first ratel in a zoological facility
    • A male housed at the Philadelphia Zoo
  • 1940: ratel exhibited in San Francisco at a World’s Fair
    • On loan from the Smithsonian National Zoological Park

Current North American Population

  • Few housed in zoological facilities (from ZIMS 2014)
    • <15 individuals, as of December 2014

San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance (SDZWA)

Historical notes (from ZIMS 2014)

  • 1998: first ratels housed at the San Diego Zoo
    • A male and female pair
      • They gave birth to a daughter named Honey in January 1999

Current population (from ZIMS 2014)

  • San Diego Zoo
    • 1 female, as of December 2014
      • Cookie turned 3 years old in February 2015
  • San Diego Zoo Safari Park
    • 1 female, as of December 2014
      • Benzy to turn 7 years old in August 2015

Ambassador Benzy

a ratel in captivity

Ratels serve as animal ambassadors at the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved.

Page Citations

Bennett (1830)
ZIMS (2014)

SDZWA Library Links