BBC News: “British blamed for Basra badgers“.
UK military spokesman Major Mike Shearer said: “We can categorically state that we have not released man-eating badgers into the area.”
More on the ‘Garta’ from Iraqslogger, quoting Eike Wulfmeyer of the University of Cologne:
These are not hog badgers but honey badgers (Mellivora capensis, known as “ratel” in southern Africa). Fierce critters for their size; lions usually avoid them because they’re not worth the effort. They might attack humans if – for example if food is scarce due to adverse weather conditions (what’s the summer like this year down in Basrah?), they’ll enter settled areas and feed on livestock which naturally brings them into conflict with local residents.They have two habits that make them particularly scary: First, as they favor honey over other food, their skin is thick and loose to ward off bee stings. So if you try to catch it, it can “turn around” in its own skin and bite you. Second, if cornered, it will try to go for the scrotum; it can’t jump very high and consequently they go for the most vulnerable accessible area.
In short, this is a no-nonsense predator.