Honestly, photographers witnessed enough animal fights this year to fill the lines of an epic Norse poem. Highlights include the warring king cobra and python who died tangled in each other’s grasp, the shrieking match between two Canada lynx venting their sexual frustrations, the tied-up alligator who head-butted a smug trapper in the face, and the laboratory cockroach who kicked a wasp in the head to avoid becoming a mind-controlled zombie.
But the warriors to whom we’d like pay particular homage are the fearless honey badger and the South African oryx — a type of antelope 10 times its size — he picked a fight with. That’s right: the honey badger started the fight. And for that he got punted, over and over again.
“[The honey badger] kept on charging at the oryx, then the oryx would hook the badger between its horns and toss him five or six meters (16 to 19 feet) into the air,” Dick Theron, the photographer who saw the scene unfold, told the Daily Mail. The honey badger “just got up, shook itself and then charged at the oryx again!”
Nobody knows why. But we have a proposal: Badger and oryx weren’t fighting — they were moshing. And to those two warriors we say have a very metal 2019, and rock on.
Originally published on Live Science.