At sunrise recently my hubby saw what he thought looks like a genet. As bird lovers, we have a water bowl in our garden and occasionally put out chicken bones with bird seeds in a bird feeder hanging in a tree - we have noticed the bokmakierie (bush shrike) enjoys a carnivorous diet.
Although we haven't seen a sign of this animal again, and think it might be a visiting cat, we have decided to refrain from putting out meaty titbits.
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THE CAPE GENET or SOUTH AFRICAN SPOTTED GENET
Cape Genets are endemic to South Africa and quite common, not a threatened species.
Distribution: Western Cape to Kwa-Zulu Natal to the Lesotho border.
They are carnivores related to civets, linsangs, fossa and mongoose.
Species Genetta tigrina
Covered with irregular spots and a stripe on its back, white muzzle and spots below the eyes, a black and white striped tail. They mark with musk glands and anal sacs, although is it unknown whether they are territorial. They use latrine sites to defecate.
Male: Body 46-58cm with a long tail Weight: 1.6-2.1kg
Female: Body 38-43cm Weight: 1.36-1.87kg
Genets rest in high trees, rock overhangs and caves during the day. They hunt and feed at night on the ground, using speed and stealth, much like a cat. They hiss and growl in stressful situations. Their diet consists of mainly rats, mice, also beetles, grasshoppers/locusts, crickets, termites as well as seeds, leaves and grass (which induces vomitting to get rid of ingested hair, toxins and relieves throat & stomach irritation). Considered opportunistic, they also catch insects, spiders, scorpions and scavenge fish on the beach. Birds appear not be prevalent in their diet.
Young are born during summer, gestation lasting about 70 days. Females make nests in hollow trees, holes or amoung boulders. Captive females regularly had litters of 2 young. Their eyes open at 10 days, the teeth break through at 4 weeks, they are weaned at 2.5 months and hunt alone at 7 months.
Captive Cape Genets are said to have lived for up to 15 years.
They face no major threats, and are sometimes kept as exotic pets.