The hog badger is nocturnal (7), spending the daytime sheltering in burrows which may either be natural structures, such as rock crevices, or excavated by the badger using the long claws on its forelimbs (7) (8).
An omnivorous species (9), the hog badger is believed to specialise in earthworms (7), but it also feeds on roots, tubers, insects and occasionally small vertebrates (6). It is thought to use its mobile snout to root in the undergrowth for its food, much like a pig (2), as well as using its claws to access sources of food buried deeper in the soil (10).
The hog badger is a fervently solitary creature (9) (11). Relatively little is known of its mating behaviour, although mating has been reported to take place in May in the wild (11), while in captivity it has been witnessed to occur from April to September (12). The exact length of the gestation period is unknown, although it has been suggested to last around six weeks (12). Many sources suggest that, as with many other species of the mustelid family, delayed implantation takes place; this is when the fertilised egg is not immediately implanted in the wall of the uterus, but is suspended in a state of dormancy for a time (13), allowing the young to be born in March or February when food is in abundant supply (12) (14) (15). The lifespan of the hog badger in the wild is unknown but in captivity it has lived for almost 14 years (16).
The distinctive black and white stripes on the face of the hog badger may be interpreted as aposematic (17) (18), meaning they may act to warn potential predators of the hog badger’s ability to release noxious odours from its anal scent glands, or its ferocity when threatened (8) (17). The hog badger is predated by the dhole (Cuon alpinus), tiger (Panthera tigris) and leopard (Panthera pardus) (18). It is likely that the secretions from the anal scent glands of hog badgers are also used to mark territory (19).