Civet pups!

June 1, 2009

We are lucky enough at Sonso to have a resident African Civet – these rare and  extremely shy creatures belong to their own family and look something like a cross between a large cat and a mongoose. Nocturnal carnivores they are usually seen in the late evening, and are easily recognized by their strikingly beautiful black and white markings. 

The three young civets already show the characteristic markings of their species

The three young civets already show the characteristic markings of their species at a few days old

Over the past couple of years we have seen more and more of an adult female who regularly hunts in the area around camp – a few days ago as we were crossing the sawmill clearing early in the morning one of our field assistants heard an odd mewling sound and to our delight discovered our resident female with three tiny babies. Tucked safely away in the long grass they were only just beginning to open their eyes, though that didn’t stop them from wriggling around all over the place and exploring their new surroundings. They are much darker that their mother, but already show the faint signs of the wonderful combinations of spots and stripes that makes the adult Civets so distinctive. We stopped quickly to take a little footage of this rare event and then left them quietly in peace.
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