The African Palm Civet, or Two-Spotted Civet as it is commonly known, is a species of Civet. African Palm Civet lives in the tropical rainforests of central and eastern Africa. African Palm Civet is different from other species of Civet because it is in its genetic group.
The Appearance of African Palm Civet
Although an African Palm Civet may look like a cat, it does not have any relationship to a cat. African Palm Civets are small carnivores that are related to mongooses, genets, and weasels. African Palm Civets have brown to light-tan to thick yellow fur with a series of dark-brown spots on their fur. African Palm Civets easily camouflage in trees, as their fur is darker on the top. Its limbs are short but very muscular, the nose is sharp, and the ears are small yet rounded. They have green-yellow eyes that have slit-shaped pupils.
Behavior and Lifestyle of African Palm Civet
African Palm Civets stay on the trees for the better part of their life. But show up for a few hours in the morning and evening in search of food. The animal loves gathering in groups and is commonly seen in groups of up to 15 members when food is plenty.
This animal has two sets of scent secreting glands. One set is between the third and fourth toe of each foot. The other gland is on the lower area of their abdomen. The strong-smelling scent is entirely for marking their territories, especially during the mating season.
Reproduction and Lifestyle of African Palm Civet
African Palm Civets breed twice a year during the rainy season when there is enough wild food. Usually, the female African Palm Civet gives birth to four babies at a time. The babies feed on their mothers until they are strong enough to hunt.
The female animal produces an orange-yellow liquid that stains her tummy and the fur of the babies. The color discourages male African Palm Civets that want to harm the young ones or who need mates. African Palm Civet can live up to 15 years. Although very few live to that age, as the rainforest is full of potential predators.
Diet and Prey of African Palm Civet
The African Palm Civet is an omnivore that feeds on animals and plants. The animal eats rodents, birds, frogs, and lizards. Fruits such as pineapple are also common in their diet. African Palm Civets feed by holding their prey in their hands and biting it severally until it dies. The animal will then swallow the prey wholly.
Predators and Threats of African Palm Civet
Although African Palm Civets live on trees, it comes down to hunt for food. The animal may walk long distances when prey is scarce—cats, lions, and big snakes prey on the African Palm Civet. The long walks may also bring the African Palm Civet closer to crocodile inhabited areas. The crocodile prey on them, and this potentially threatens the existence of African Palm Civet species.
African Palm Civet’s Relationship with Humans
Farmers that live closer to the habitats of the African Palm Civets say that the animal is a pest. African Palm civets also damage livestock for meat. The animal steals poultry for an easy meal. On the other hand, humans threaten the existence of the African Palm Civet as they hunt them for meat. The fur of the African Palm Civet is also an essential resource in constructing traditional ceremonial garments. The destruction of forests by humans further threatens the lives of the African Palm Civet.
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