Civettictis civetta
Status: Least Concern
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Feliformia
Family: Viverridae
Genus: Civettictis
Names: M'fungo
Description: The African civet has a coarse and wiry fur that varies in colour from white to creamy yellow to reddish on the back. The stripes, spots, and blotches are deep brown to black. Horizontal lines are prominent on the hind limbs, spots are normally present on its midsection and fade into vertical stripes above the forelimbs. Its muzzle is pointed, ears small and rounded. A black band stretches across its small eyes, and two black bands are around its short broad neck.

General Information

African civets look like half racoon, half cat furry animals. Their name comes from a fusion of greek and french words which mean "Weasel". They are fairly common in all the wilderness areas and are often seen on night drives in the national parks.
Shoulder height:
Length: 67 – 84 cm
Tail Length:
Weight: 7 to 20 kg
Age: up to 14 years

Fun Facts !

The African Civet are mostly tree dwelling nocturnal animals that have non-retractable claws which they use to climb trees. They are also capable swimmers.

Ecology and Behaviour

African civets deposit their feces in large piles called latrines, or specifically "civetries". The latrines are characterized by fruits, seeds, exoskeletons of insect and millipede rings, and occasionally clumps of grass. The role of civet latrines as a mechanism of seed dispersal and forest regeneration is still being researched. African civets are typically solitary creatures. They use their perineal gland secretion to mark their territories around their civetries. If an African civet feels threatened, it raises its dorsal crest to make itself look larger and thus more formidable and dangerous to attack.

Conservation

It is listed as "Least Concern" on the IUCN Red List since 2015

Distribution and Habitat

African civets typically sleep during the day in the tall grasses near water sources in central and southern Africa. It often inhabits savannahs, forests, and sometimes near rivers as the tall grasses and thickets present provide them with necessary cover during the day

Interaction with humans

Local hunters considered it a rare species, indicating that the population declined due to hunting for trade as bushmeat. The African civet has historically been hunted for the secretion of perineal glands. This secretion is a white or yellow waxy substance called civetone, which has been used as a basic ingredient for many perfumes for hundreds of years. In Ethiopia, African civets are hunted alive, and are kept in small cages. Most die within three weeks after capture, most likely due to stress. Extraction of the civetone is cruel and has been criticised by animal rights activists.

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