South African Large-Spotted/Cape Genet

ANIMAL:
South African Large-Spotted/Cape Genet Genetta tigrina

Type of Animal:
Civet

Habitat:
Forest, woodland, areas near water, areas near streams/rivers, fynbos, savanna, farmland, villages, well-watered savanna woodland, cultivated areas, agricultural areas, areas near human settlements, scrub forest, riparian areas, grassland, permanent water reservoirs, scrubland, pine plantations, urban areas, coastal shrubland, rocky crevices

Location(s):
Southern Africa

Appearance:
Ash gray/yellowish w/ brown irregular spots, black stripe along spine, white muzzle, white spots below eyes, black & white banded tail w/ black tip, short dorsal crest

Food/Diet:
Insects, myriapods, rodents, shrews, hedgehogs, golden moles, bats, reptiles, arachnids, amphibians, birds, seeds, fruit, grasses, bird eggs, carrion, earthworms, crabs, pet food, refuse, human leftovers, small primates, hyraxes, lagomorphs

Status in Wild:
Stable

Conservation:
Breeding from zoos, wildlife centers, & breeders

Lifestyle:
Solitary

Additional Info:

Called:
Male
Female
Young: Kit
Group: Solitary
 
Weight:
Male: 3.5-4.6 lbs
Female: 3-4.12 lbs
Young: 1 lb

Gestation:
9 weeks 

Life Span:
8-10 years in wild, 13-20 years in captivity

Height:
8.2 in, same for both sexes

Body Length:
Male: 1.5-1.91 ft
Female: 1.4-1.83 ft
Young: 8.2 in

Tail Length:
Male: 1.283-1.5083 ft
Female: 1.267-1.416 ft

Main predators are owls, leopards, pythons, honey badgers, cats, dogs, & eagles.
 
Short, partially retractable claws help aid in climbing & catching prey.
 
Active at night (nocturnal).
 
Mark territory by depositing secretion from anal sac, often doing handstands while doing this.
 
Females make nests/give birth in hollow trees, holes, among boulders, & even in roofs.
 
Kits open eyes at 10 days old & canine teeth break through at 1 month old. Weaned at 1.5-2.5 months & leave mom at 6 months to a year. Become sexually mature at 11 months.
 
Usually breed in wetter periods.
 
Females usually give birth to 1-5 kits.
 
Sometimes killed by farmers due to killing poultry.
 
Courtship involves male following female, making low calls. He then smells genital region. Then, she assumes mating position w/ shoulders low & hindquarters slightly raised. Mating typically only lasts 5 minutes.
 
Females have 1-2 litters a year.
 
Communicate w/ cat-like vocalizations (purring/mewing/hissing/spitting).

Fun Fact(s):
When angry/frightened/injured, they can squirt foul-smelling substance.
 
Sometimes grass eaten to assist in digestion & get rid of any possible toxins ingested.
 
Can squeeze flexible bodies through any opening bigger than head.
 
Sometimes kept as exotic pets.
South African Large-Spotted Genet, Cape Genet, stock photo

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