Jackal belongs to the Genus Canis, within which dogs and wolfs are classified. Called Akátá or Ajako in Yoruba language, but more correctly, Ofafa. it is a medium-sized carnivore with doglike features and a bushy tail, known for its cleverness, nocturnal habits, eerie howling and scavenging.
The Golden Jackal Canis aureus, are the largest species of Jackal and they are found in Nigeria as is in Northern and Eastern Africa countries. They have a body length between 60 and 110 cms (23.5 – 43 inches), a tail length between 20 and 30 cms (8 – 12 inches) and they weigh between 7 and 15 kgs (15 – 33 lbs).
The Side-striped Jackal found in moist wooded areas of Northern Nigeria is dull greyish and black tail usually have conspicuous white tip. Flank has diagonal white or buffy stripe edged with black, indistinct at a distance. Muzzle relatively blunt; ears short and rounded. It is slightly drabber in color than most species of Jackal worldwide, and has shorter legs and ears. Golden Jackal is more yellowish than the Side-stripped Jackal, and tail tip is black. Males of the Side-stripped Jackal range from 7.3 to 12 kg, whereas females are seldom known to weigh more than 10 kg. They live in monogamous, territorial pairs for about 10 years.