African Civet

The African Civet (Civettictis civetta) is a large weasel-looking or raccoon-looking mammal. It is a viverrid. 

The African Civet is a stocky animal with a long body. It has short legs, a short broad neck, a pointed muzzle (nose), a long bushy tail (with black and a few white bands), and small round eyes. It has black bands surrounding its eyes (like a raccoon). It has rough black and white striped and blotched fur, called pelage. It has both long hair and short under-fur, called guard hairs. It has long, white whiskers.

It has a crest of fur along its back, which is raised when it is threatened. It has five toes on each foot. Its claws are long, curved, and semi-retractible. Its paws are completely black. 

African Civet

It measures is 67–84 centimetres (26–33 inches) long, with a 34–47 centimetre (13–19 inch) tail. 

The African Civet is native to Sub-Saharan Africa. It prefers woodlands and forests. 

It is mainly nocturnal, active at night. It sleeps during the day. 

It is omnivorous, eating small mammals (especially rats and mice), insects, eggs, frogs and toads, and vegetation. It is capable of killing venomous snakes. 

It has a gland that secretes a white or yellow waxy substance, called civet, which is used to make perfume. 

It is a solitary animal. 

The female African Civet creates a nest in thick vegetation. The female gives birth to 1-4 live young. The young are born precocial, which means that they have short, dark fur and can crawl at birth. The young leave the nest after 18 days, but are still dependent on the mother for milk and protection for another two months (60 days).

African Civet
African Civet
African Civet

[Location of photographs: Tbilisi Zoo, Georgia]

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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