African Civet

Civettictis civetta
Shoulder height: 40cm (16in.)
Body weight: 9 - 13kg (20 - 29lb)
Pregnancy : 60 days (August to December)
Number of young: 2 - 4
Life expectancy; 12 years

Often wrongly called civet 'cat', this rather dog-like wild carnivore, in fact, belongs to the mongoose family.  Long-legged and heavily built (weighing up to about 13 kilograms) the civet is a fierce fighter when it has to defend itself.  It executes a penetrating, pungent smell when annoyed.  Musk, collected from its peri-anal glands, was once used for perfume manufacture!  Predominantly active at night, it moves in an apparently clumsy way, with its back slightly arched and its head carried low.  It is partial to eating centipedes and fruit. It preys on small mammals and birds, reptiles, amphibians, snails, slugs and insects.  Mysterious as the civet is, it remains one of the lesser known carnivores of Africa.