The East African Black-Backed Jackal (Canis mesomelas schmidti) is a canid in the Canidae family. It is related to the Bat-Eared Fox (Otocyon megalotis) and the Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus).
It looks like a fox or dog, but with large pointed ears, and a pointed snout (nose). Canis means dog, and mesomelas means middle black. It has reddish fur, a white chest, and a distinct black back from neck to bushy tail. The Black-Backed Jackal trots nimbly on its long legs. It rests in holes in the ground, rock crevices, or tall grass.
It can grow to about 48 centimetres (19 inches) tall, which is the size of a medium-sized dog.
It is native to east Africa, including Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Djibouti, Eritrea, Uganda, Tanzania, and Ethiopia.
The Black-Backed Jackal is omnivorous, eating anything that is available, such as lizards, small rodents, and hares. It usually forages alone or in pairs. It is a scavenger.
The Black-Backed Jackal usually mates for life with one partner. The female usually has 1-6 young, called pups, after a pregnancy of 60 days. Pups are initially suckled and later fed with regurgitated food until they are able to forage with their parents after about 90 days. Both parents look after and feed their pups.
[Location of photographs: Kenya, Africa]
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM