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The African Civet

The African Civet

Even though this is not the best photograph, I could not help but share it with you, as I was so excited to see the African Civet. This is a very shy and elusive animal, coming out only when it is dark. If you are very lucky, you could encounter them during sunrise and sunset.

Consumption classification

The African Civet (Civettictis civetta) is an omnivore and eats small vertebrates. It can also catch poisonous insects and even snakes. They find their food mailny by smell and sound rather than by sight. They look very similar to cats, but are not felines. They are more related to weasels and mongooses. The African Civet is in fact the largest of the African Viverridae family and the only member of its genus.


The Civet make use of a secretion called Musk to mark territory, this smells quite horrible. However, people have been collecting it for many years. With the right treatment it smells different and is even processed in perfume. The methods of obtaining this it can be quite cruel so these days, very little perfumes still contain the musk of the Civet.


The African Civet was first described in 1776 by a German naturalist - Johann Cristian Daniel von Schreber. He named it Viverra civet. Then, many years later in 1915, the English zoologist - Reginald Innes Pocock placed the animal in its own genus, Civettictis. What a special sight.