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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Z is for Zorilla

The zorilla (Ictonyx striatus) is a small carnivorous mammal that looks just like a skunk.  It is a weasel from Africa and also has the name of striped polecat.  Like skunks it has anal sacs that can excrete some pretty stinky fluid which they use to protect themselves from predators.  Some people believe they smell worse than North American skunks and call it the worst smelling animal on earth.




The zorilla is carnivorous and feeds on invertebrates, small rodents, birds, reptiles, and eggs.  It is primarily a solitary animal and is usually only seen together when mating.  After 36 days, mom will give birth to 1-4 young which she raises in a burrow for approximately 18 weeks.  Sexual maturity is reached at 20-30 weeks, almost a full year.