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 Post subject: Polecats
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 10:06 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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No other animal can excrete a smell as bad as the polecat can :shock: : when in danger it fluffs out and raises its bushy tail, 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. :cam:

Has anyone seen one of these very rare animal :?:

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Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2005 1:35 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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We saw an orphan polecat 5 years ago at a private reserve on the garden route. It was cute and slept all day, but at night it would wander around all the guests. Sadly I had tick bite fever at the time and can only remember dimly.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 8:33 am 
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Saw one a few years ago on the H10 ner Mlondozi. Fleeting sighting, but long enough to ID it nonetheless.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 2:49 pm 
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Seen on two occcasions but back in the 80's. Can't tell where at all, only know it was in KNP.

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 Post subject: polecat
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2005 2:25 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Venetia, Limpopo
rare in KNP it appears - dont hear much of night drives actually seeing them much.

Greater addo, and Kgalagadi may be best parks to see them - so reports suggest. I have seen most in Free state grassland and karoo habitats.

wj


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Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 9:42 am 
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I think I might have seen one at Addo. Scratching in the rubbish outside the openair restaurant near the campsite ablutions. All I saw was something dark with a stripe. Unfortunately, I had no torch with me and my toiletry bag was of little help with the identification.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 2:21 pm 
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SO claims she saw one near Satara last november. She didn't know about the existence of such an animal so she thought her mind was playing tricks on her (skunk in Africa????).

When later we were looking in a mammal book she said that was the animal she saw. Not enough for a tick, I know, but still...

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Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2005 11:54 am 
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Location: Gauties .
I think it could be mistaken for a white tail mongoose , which is far more common , and also nocturnal .

Never seen a polecat myself :(


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Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 11:09 am 
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Striped Polecat/Zorilla Ictonyx striatus

Mass: M: 0,6 - 1,5kg. F: 0,42 - 0,9kg
Life span: About 10 - 12 years
Predators: Virtually all carnivores larger or the same size as the polecat.
Spoor: Front - 3cm and hind: 4cm
Calls: Contact calls include a high-pitched yapping. Alarm call includes screams and growls

Description
Th black fur is long and silky. There are 4 white stripes which extend from the back of the neck to the tail. The face has white markings. Good swimmers, climbers and diggers. Juviniles are a greyish colour. They have a round, pointed muzzle.

Behaviour
Nocturnal, foraging alone. The home range is marked with anal gland secretions, although only the core area is defended as territory. They dig their own burrows in soft-soils or any place they can find that is abandoned.

Reproduction
In South Africa, they breed in summer. 1 - 3 cubs are born after a gestation period of 36 days and weigh 10-15g each. The average interval is 1 year between births. Cubs are born nearly hairless and pink, being totally helpless for 1 week, crawling by 2 weeks. Juvinile colouration is is atained by 3 weeks.

Diet
Carnivores. Eat insects and rodents, birds, lizards, eggs and snakes. Larger prey is immobilised by constant attacks, being bitten repeatedly all over the body. The polecat then begins feeding from the head or neck. Water independant.

Habitat
Open grasslands, especially short grassed. Avoid moist forest. Rare within Kruger. Sightings are more common down South. They have been reported in Maleane mountain bushveld and in Mopane bushveld habitats.

Information from A Field Guide To the Mammals Of The Kruger National Park by Hieke Schutze.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 11:16 am 
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Some of my party saw one on our trip to Addo recently

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Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 1:51 pm 
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I saw one just outside Twee Rivieren gate (on the Ashkam road, not in the park) last April.


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