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Last updated on April 21, 2014 at 7:52 EDT

African Civet

The African Civet is a common viverrid that ranges across tropical Africa. Unlike many other members of the family, the African Civet resembles a short dog-like animal. Its coarse coat varies but is usually an ornate pattern of black and white contrasting bands and blotches. It has a white facemask and black eye patches (like that of a raccoon) and a pale muzzle.

The African Civet ranges across Sub-Saharan Africa (except from Somalia and most of Botswana, Namibia and South Africa). It lives it forests, both dense rainforest, or in partly forested mosaics. It is also found in drier country were cover exists (along watercourses or rock outcroppings). Although they are frequently taken by snares left out for jackals and are victims of road kill, they are not considered threatened.

The African Civet is an omnivorous generalist. They eat small vertebrates, invertebrates, eggs, carrion, and vegetable matter. It is capable of taking on poisonous invertebrates and snakes. It can also tackle large prey items like mongooses and hares. It forages by itself, and is a solitary animal that does not tolerate the presence of others of its species.

African Civet