All About the African Civet

Introduction

Imagine seeing an animal in the wild that looks like a feline, acts like a feline, but isn’t actually a member of the feline family.

The African Civet is a mammal that is known for its black and white markings and a black band around its eyes that make it seem like a raccoon. It’s a truly amazing creature that is under threat of deforestation in its native habitat in sub-Saharan Africa.

What You Should Know

The African Civet is usually found in the tropical rainforests of sub-Saharan Africa. These furry feline-like creatures are omnivores, but they prefer to dine on small rodents, snakes, and frogs. When they can’t find live prey, they have also been known to eat plant matter. The African Civet is a solitary animal that only comes out of its tree at night to hunt for its prey.

Instead of using its paws to collect and eat food, it typically uses its teeth. They have very strong jaws and a set of 40 teeth that allow the African Civet to enjoy a delicious meal. They have an average height of 17-28 inches and weigh anywhere between 3 and 10 lbs. The African Civet is also known for being a decent swimmer, and you will most commonly find them hanging out in the trees when they aren’t hunting for food.

What Sound Do They Make?

You can hear what an African Civet sounds like by clicking the link here.

Group Characteristics

Even though these animals are known for being solitary, they also are known to gather in groups of up to 15 members during the mating season. This is pretty much the only time you will see a group of African Civets together in a group. Other than that, they can be found hanging out alone in their trees when they aren’t mating or hunting for food. They are also very territorial creatures that are always marking their territory with a strong musk. This musk can be very powerful and has even been used to create perfumes.

A female African Civet will give birth to a litter of around 4 animals at a time. They will burrow into an underground nest previously created by another animal to raise her young in a calm and safe environment. The baby Civets are usually born with a lot of mobility and they can live up to 20 years. However, it’s important to note that habitat loss is a big threat to the African Civet population. Do what you can to contribute to the organizations that are preventing the deforestation and destruction of the beautiful natural habitats for these creatures.

How Many Are There?

There are plenty of African Civets in the wild and they are not considered to be at risk of becoming extinct anytime soon. Some of the main predators that the African Civet has to look out for include leopards, lions, and snakes.

Watch a Video

You can find some great videos of the African Civet by clicking on any of the following links:

Interesting Facts

The African Civet is interesting because of the strong musk called Civetone it secretes to mark its territory. They are known to secrete up to 4 grams of musk every single week in their efforts to keep other animals away from their habitat. Believe it or not, the musk that these animals secrete has been used to manufacture perfumes for centuries! Would you like to try it out on your next big date night?

They are also unique thanks to their exotic markings. You might have to do a double take if you see one in the wild, as many people believe that they look like raccoons when they first see them!