African Civet

Civettictis civetta

African Civet, Civettictis civetta, called Eta in Yoruba, is a small, semi-aquatic, lithe-bodied, mostly nocturnal mammal, distributed all over Nigeria as is found in the whole of sub-Saharan Africa, except in the continent’s core southern region. Its large hindquarters, which hold the rump high and the head low in an unusual posture characteristic of civets, and short mane, which extends down its back, easily distinguish this species. It is also known for the musk secretion close to the tail, with which it marks its territory This oil is a fixative for scent and is used in the cosmetic industry as a base for perfumes.

The African Civet is an opportunistic carnivore, and its diet is generally omnivorous. It sleeps in dense vegetation during the day. When threatened, the African civet growls deeply and coughs. It assumes intimidating posture by fluffing out its fur and erecting a crest of long, black hairs along its spine. It is solitary except when breeding. Females are polyestrous, and may have two or three litters in a year. Although one captive animal was recorded to have lived for 28 years, lifespan average is by far lower.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer