Common Genet

Small-spotted Genet
Source: Unknown

Common Genets, Genetta genetta, are long, lean carnivores with pointed muzzle, a tapering tail usually at least as long as the body. The rather long and coarse pelage is soft with dense, woolly underfur. It is distinguished from the forest genet by the possession of smaller spots. Color ranges from light grey to brownish grey, the animal is lighter on the underside, and has dark spinal stripe with distinct crest. Overall length averages 0.96 meters.

Common Genets prefer open, sparsely wooded, drier grassland habitats and so are found in the Northern part of Nigeria. This species also occur in Europe and is in fact also called European Genet, but its occurrence in Western Europe may well have been result of introductions. Like a cat, the common genet has semi-retractable claws, enabling it to climb trees with agility. They have been known to feed on fruits, small rodents, birds, reptiles, and invertebrates. Gestation is for 70 days, afterwhich a litter of 2 to 3 young are born. These are weaned by 8 weeks and attain sexual maturity in two years and lifespan is some 10 years.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer