African Civet Facts

African Civet Facts
African civet is a mammal that is closely related to weasels and mongooses. This animal is widely distributed in Sub-Saharan Africa (from Senegal in the west to the Somalia on the eastern coast and Botswana and Namibia on the south). African civet inhabits all areas that provide enough water, food and shelter. It usually lives in mountain and lowland forests, swamps and savannas. African civet is threatened by habitat loss and deforestation. People hunt African civet because of its musk that is popular ingredient of many perfumes. Despite these factors, population of African civets in the wild is large and stable. This animal is not on the list of endangered species.
Interesting African Civet Facts:
African civet can reach 17 to 28 inches in length and from 3 to 10 pounds in weight. Females are slightly larger.
African civet has short grey fur covered with black spots arranged in several rows. Eyes are encircled with black rings. Muzzle and forehead are white. Specific body coloration provides camouflage.
Each African civet has unique pattern of spots and streaks on the body.
African civet looks like a raccoon because it has wide head, pointed muzzle, long neck and small eyes and ears. It has non-retractable claws (claws are always exposed).
African civet has 40 sharp teeth which are used for catching of prey.
African civet is omnivore (eats plants and animals). Its diet includes fruit and various vegetation, insects, eggs, birds, reptiles and small mammals.
African civet is nocturnal animal (active during the night).
African civet is active both on the ground and in the trees. It is also excellent swimmer.
African civet uses abandoned underground burrows for sleeping and for nursing of babies.
Main predators of civet are lions, leopards, snakes and crocodiles. When it is threatened, African civet produces loud growls and cough-like sounds. It also raises long black hair on the back side of the body to appear larger.
African civet has excellent sense of smell. It communicates with other civets via olfactory, visual and auditory cues.
African civet is territorial and solitary animal. It releases musk (produced by perianal gland) to mark its territory and to announce readiness to mate.
Mating season takes place from August to January or from March to October, depending on the habitat. Females produce two litters per year.
Pregnancy in females lasts 2 months and ends with 4 to 6 babies. Each baby has its own teat and depends on the mother's milk during the first 6 weeks of its life. At the age of 2 months, youngsters are able to collect food on their own. They reach sexual maturity at the age of 9 to 12 months.
African civet can survive 12 years in the wild and up to 20 years in captivity.

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