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May 26, 2022

The scientific name of the common jackal is Canis aureus, the side-striped jackal is Canis adustus, and the black-backed jackal is Canis mesomelas. Canis is a Latin word referring to a dog, and aureus refers to golden. Hence, the common jackal can also be referred to as the golden jackal. Jackal belongs to the Canidae family and the Mammalia class.

Jackals make their home in different parts of Africa and Europe. Jackals live in Africa and some European countries like Italy, Bulgaria, Greece, and Romania. In Africa, they are found in western, central, and southern parts such as Nigeria, Senegal, Nigeria, South Sudan, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

They are omnivores—they eat both meat and plants. These canines are also monogamous, meaning that male and female jackals stay together throughout their lives, and the pair raises their young ones together. 

Jackals live in packs of anywhere between 10 and 30. However, these canines are shy and prefer to stay out of sight—they take cover in tall grass, behind trees, and in crevices of rocks. They only show aggression when intruders threaten their territory.

Jackals can live up to about 12 years in the wild. Baby jackals are known as pups. After birth, pups drink their mothers’ milk and eat regurgitated food until they are weaned at two months.

One of the most fascinating facts about jackals is their form of communication: not all growls, yips, and howls are alike. The members of different packs or tribes have unique sounds they make to deliver messages, as packs have their own sounds. Therefore, families in the same area do not receive mixed messages.

7 Fascinating Facts About Jackals

  • Jackals are canines, and their biological relatives are foxes, coyotes, and wolves.
  • Jackals in captivity can live for about 16 years.
  • Side-striped jackals can hoot like owls. This sound makes them refer to as “o loo” in Uganda.
  • A group of jackals is sometimes referred to as a pack or a tribe
  • Jackals look like a cross between a fox and a German shepherd.
  • Jackals hunt in pairs rather than looking for prey alone
  • Jackals have about two to four pups in a litter


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