Striped Polecat

Ictonyx striatus
Ictonyx striatus ©wilkinsonsworld.com

Striped Polecat, Ictonyx striatus, also called Zorilla, is a member of the weasel family, a group of carnivorous animals with long and slender body and short legs. Zorilla is a small animal, with long shiny black hair and four clear white stripes running along its back and sides, from the top of the head to the base of the tail. This animal, found in northern Nigeria produces smelling secretions from its anal glands as one of its several means of avoiding predators. Polecats are solitary and aggressive towards each other such that they are seen together only when mating. They are entirely nocturnal and they feed on invertebrates, small rodents, birds, reptiles and eggs. They have long and curved claws for digging and removing small prey from soil or crevices. The Striped polecat produces litters of 1 to 4 young after a gestation period of some 5 weeks. They live for up to 13 years.