The world’s first tweeting badger

By on Friday, July 5, 2013

I’ve seen it all now and so will you after reading this blog post: Johannesburg Zoo has established the world’s first live tweeting badger.

I’ll explain. BG, a honey badger, has set up his own Twitter account (with a little help from the zookeepers at the South African zoo) to give visitors and badger fans exclusive previews of what he’s up to, day and night. And, if you didn’t think there was a gap in the market for a badger that knows his Pinterest from his Instagram, now you do. BG’s generated more than 4,500 followers in less than 50 tweets with winning updates such as ‘the African wild cat next door thinks he’s so cool because he has ears.’


But, moments after Johannesburg Zoo’s PR and social media stunt had got me wide eyed thinking ‘what a good idea this is’, I was disappointed to find out that all of BG’s tweets are pre-written – activated when he passes one of six sensors in his enclosure that alerts a server to issue the tweets. I’m a firm believer that if a stunt is worth doing, it’s worth doing right. I don’t want to know when BG tweets ‘pipe down little pigeon’ all this really means is that he’s strolled past the far end wall of the cage! It weakens the campaign’s credibility.

My second thought is why a badger? Maybe Britain’s badger problems have impacted me ina way that I never imagined, but I don’t know anyone that’s thought a badger is the most interesting animal at the zoo. Johannesburg – give me tigers, lions, elephants or rhinos. Animals with attitude would’ve generated more interest. After all, it’s not badgers that people adopt; it’s the show-stopping beasts of the animal kingdom.

Saying this, BG’s certainly caused a frenzy, generating coverage on MSN, PR Daily and Perez Hilton sites to name a few.

What do you make of BG’s online antics? Leave a comment here or chat to him directly at @zootweetslive or use #tweetingbadger.


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