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More on the Masked palm civet

Fascinating facts and more information on the lovely and cute Masked palm civet. (see yesterday for more pics and information).

This little chappy was found and photographed by Andrew Hardacre, post Typhoon on the 27th September. It is a juvenile and it appeared lost and frightened. It kept close to Andrew, who tried to feed it figs and give it water, and it was later picked up by the SPCA and sent to Kadoorie for rehabilitation. It is definitely still a baby, and too young to look after itself.

The masked palm civet is normally seen at night, and is a solitary predator that can be found in the trees, as it is partly aboreal. However, they have also been known to be active during the day. They are known to feed on rats and birds as well as on fruit such as figs, mangoes, bananas, and leaves.bQuite the omnivore! You can find this information form looking at its "Scat" (pooh), which also shows that they can eat mollusks, arthropods, bark and to a lesser extent snakes and frogs.

When alarmed, the animal sprays a secretion from its anal gland - which is pretty horrible, much like a skunk.

Scientists say that their mating behaviour is promiscuous, as defined as "Promiscuity is the practice of having casual sex frequently with different partners or being indiscriminate in the choice of sexual partners". More fascinating facts: Copulation in masked palm civets can last for more than 30 minutes, and when copulation is finaished, males leave a copulation plug in the female's vaginal tract.

Later on the female bears up to four young, and in captivity they have been known to reach 15 years of age.

For some great videos of this cutey pie, head over to our facebook page . wildcreatureshongkong

oh, and don'g blame this creature for SARS! It all starts with us humans.....as in parts of China masked palm civets are hunted for their meat and eaten. They are often caged and kept near human habitation, and yes, through Inadequate preparation of the meat there may have been the cause for the outbreak of SARS.

BUT.....It is now thought that probably humans got SARS from bats, then humans gave it to pigs and to civets, and then these small carnivores may have given the disease back to humans. All the cases of SARS associated with the outbreak appeared to be part of the bat branch of the coronavirus phylogeny.

so, humans gave the disease to the Civet Cat first! so don't blame them. Thank you.

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