adequately describes the Striped Polecat: the long-haired coat is distinctly
striped black and white. It is one of the most easily recognised small
carnivores, and its conspicuous coloration serves as a warning to enemies.
No other animal can excrete a smell as bad as the polecat can: when
in danger it fluffs out and raises its bushy tail, raises its dorsal
hairs to form a crest, screams shrilly, and then presents its rear and
squirts a foul-smelling excretion from its anal glands that lingers
for days at its enemy. If the excretion is sprayed in the eye, it can
cause blindness. This animal will also fake death to escape its pursuers,
or, like a mongoose, it will escape up a tree.
The striped polecat is
nocturnal, and is therefore not often encountered. It is a solitary
animal, and forages for small mammals, insects, spiders, birds' eggs
and sometimes snakes or poultry. When out foraging, it trots along with
its back slightly hunched and its tail held out horizontally: moving
forward purposefully, it pokes its muzzle into loose litter looking
for its prey. Normally striped polecats live in burrows either dug by
itself or taken over from another animal; they can also live in a shelter
provided by rocks, tree roots or vegetal debris. The Striped Polecat young,
usually two or three to a litter, are altricial: they are born blind,
hairless and pink.
More facts about Striped Polecats
WHERE FOUND: Kruger
Kalahari Gemsbok National Park