African civets usually live alone, with the exception being at breeding time. They will burrow in underground nests, which were dug by other species, to raise their young. Being mammals, the young rely on their mother's milk for the first six weeks of life. Unlike most carnivores, young civets are born very well developed. They have fur and are able to crawl at birth and within the first week they are able to support their body and walk around.
Civets hunt mainly at night from just before sunset to around midnight. They feed on various items including insects, carrion, eggs, small reptiles, birds, rodents and fruit. They use their 40 teeth and mouths to kill their prey, not their claws.
Musk (also called civet) collected from the civet's perineal glands has been used in the manufacture of perfume for hundreds of years. Musk is usually obtained from wild-caught civets, with each producing up to 3-4 g (0.1 ounce) of musk per week. The method of civet captivity and musk collection is decidedly cruel. These animals are not considered endangered, but they are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Appendix III which asks for help controlling global trade in a species.
Predators of African civets include lions, hyenas, leopards as well humans, who will kill to protect their crops, and domestic dogs. Rabies has been reported in African civets and they are thought to be a reservoir for the virus.
The African civet is listed as Least Concern (LR/lc), lowest risk. Does not qualify for a more at risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category, on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
CountriesAngola, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of the, Congo, Republic of the, Cote d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, The, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Some facts about the
Adult weight : 13.667 kg (30.0674 lbs)
Maximum longevity : 28 years
Female maturity :365 days
Male maturity : 213 days
Gestation : 65 days
Weaning : 120 days
Litter size : 3
Litters per year : 2
Interval between litters : 221 days
Weight at birth : 0.381 kg (0.8382 lbs)
Weight at weaning : 1.514 kg (3.3308 lbs)