The East African Black-Backed Jackal (Canis mesomelas schmidti) is a canid of East Africa, including Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Djibouti, Eritrea, Uganda, Tanzania, and Ethiopia.
Canis means dog, and mesomelas means middle black. It looks like a fox or dog, but with large pointed ears, and a pointed snout. It has reddish fur, a white chest, and a distinct black back from neck to bushy tail.
It can grow to about 48 centimetres (19 inches) tall, which is like a medium-sized dog. The Black-Backed Jackal trots nimbly on its long legs. When resting, it likes holes in the ground, rock crevices or tall grass.
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.
Black-Backed Jackals usually mates for life with one partner. Female Black-Backed Jackals usually have 1-6 young, called pups, after a two-month pregnancy. Pups are initially suckled and later fed with regurgitated food until they are able to forage with their parents after about three months. Both the male and female jackals look after and feed their pups.
Black-Backed Jackals is related to the Bat-Eared Fox (Otocyon megalotis) of Africa and the Wild Dog of Africa (Lycaon pictus).
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM