Unusual features/differences from similar
At night, the African Civet's eyes reflect a bright emerald green.
Visible Male/Female Differences
The female is slightly heavier than the male.
The civet prefers forest and
dense bush. It is independent of water.
The civet eats almost anything from insects
The civet has litters of up to four young
which are born from August-January
after a gestation period of 60-65 days. Young's
eyes are open within a few days when they start to crawl, walks within 5 days
and 2 weeks thereafter they will go outside and play. Weaned at 1 month,
starting with solid food.
Seen alone or
in family groups of mother with young. It is active at night, mostly from 1-2 hours after sunset until midnight.
Hides in holes or bush during the daytime. A creature of habit, it creates
extensive pathways. The civet scent marks by pushing the anal
gland out and wiping a smelly, dark-colored pate on objects. Dung is
deposited in middens has the same odor as scent marks. Middens are sometimes
shared. Fully grown civets can spray their urine to scent-mark more effectively.
They freeze when frightened or run away
in a burst of speed if
approached too closely. It is very fast with its
long legs, jumps over obstacles easily and are great dodgers .When threatened it
turns sideways and erects the crest on the back to appear
larger and intimidate attackers.
When looking for food it
walks with head low/ It does not chase prey but grabs it when seen using only its
jaws. When a snake is caught, it will grab and throw it with a savage head-jerk and
when victim does not fight back will grip it and give it a death shake, breaking
the backbone of snake or rodent. Larger prey is killed with a crushing bite to
Normally silent. Growls and coughs when cornered. Kittens make a cat-like
The dung is about 8mm long and cylindrical containing digested animal and
plant remnants as well as millipede rings. Dung is deposited in middens near pathways.
Rocks and plants smeared with dark-coloured paste and a strong odor.