Civet – cute animal
Civets are small to medium-sized carnivores in the Viverridae family which includes genets, linsangs, and mongooses. There are 35 species of civets. They vary in size and form, but mostly have a catlike appearance with long noses, slender bodies, pointed ears, short legs and a long furry tail.
Civets are nocturnal animals and usually rest in a hollow tree, rock crevice or empty burrow during the day. They are solitary animals.
Civet oil has been used in the perfume industry for centuries. It is also valued for its medicinal uses which include the reduction of perspiration, a cure for some skin disorders and claims of aphrodisiac powers. The oil was imported from Africa by King Solomon in the tenth century B.C.
The African palm civet spends most of its time in the forest. It feeds primarily on fruit, small mammals, birds, insects, and lizards.
The broad-faced binturong, or bear cat, has a strong, muscular long-haired tail. The body hair is long and the ears have long black tufts of hair with white margins. It is the largest member of the civet family. The binturong’s diet is mostly vegetarian, however they prey on fish.
The best known is the banded palm civet living in the forests of Southeast Asia. It eats rats, lizards, frogs, snails, crabs, earthworms and ants.
Otter civets are excellent swimmers. Their toes are partially webbed, and they have smaller ears, blunter muzzles, shorter tails than most banded palm civets.
The African civet is the most doglike viverrid. It eats carrion, but prefers small mammals. They also eat birds, eggs, amphibians, reptiles, invertebrates, fruit, berries, and vegetation.
In Africa people often keep civets as pets. They catch rodents and cockroaches.
In Indonesia and the Philippines people use civets to make expensive coffee called Kopi Luwak. In the Philippines, this coffee is called Kape alamid. The animal eats fully ripe and highest quality coffee berries. The soft shell is digested in the stomach, and the coffee bean goes out together with excrement. Indonesian peasants collect these precious wastes of civet life in the forest and thoroughly wash coffee beans.