The Zorilla
(Ictonyx striatus) is an African weasel that dwells in many parts of Africa. It's aliases include Zoril, Zorile, Striped polecat, Cape polecat, African polecat, and African skunk.


Zorillas may resemble and even act like skunks, but they are actually members of the weasel family. They have white streaks on their back, head, and tail, but are completely black on their underparts. Their specific coloration changes based on it's location. Zorillas are 24-28 inches long including their tails. They are 3.9-5.9 inches at their shoulder. They weigh 1.3-2.9 lbs with the male usually weighing more.


Zorillas are solitary only ever meeting together to breed. After breeding, the gestation is usually 4 weeks long. During pregnancy, the mother prepares a nest for her young. There are usually 1-5 offspring in a litter. The pups of zorillas are blind, deaf, and naked somewhat like kittens. The mother will protect their pups until they leave. They are nocturnal, hunting typically at night. During the day, it will burrow into other animal's burrows to sleep.

Zorillas are a very territorial, marking their territory with feces very similar to a Skunk's spray. They also use this ability to ward off predators too. Before spraying, the zorilla will take to threatening behavior. They stand with their back arched, posterior facing the predator, and tail straight up in the air. If this does not warn the predator to stand back, they spray the noxious fluid into the eye's of the opponent, blinding them and taking to a burning sensation.

Zorillas have a wide variety of calls used to communicate with each other and to send warnings to adversaries. Growls are known to give warning to predators and to make them act more threatening. High-pitched shrieks are known to be shown as a sign of extreme aggression or a warning to the action of spraying the fluid. A call that changes from high to low has been shown as a telling of another creature to submit to submission. A quiet cooing sound is known as a sign of friendliness and greetings. Young zorillas are known to emit calls that vary on the emotion based on if the mother is present or not.


Their diet has a wide variety, but usually consists of snakes, rodents, amphibians, birds, and insects. They have very small stomachs, so they eat often.


Zorillas dwell in dry climates, savannas, or open country in Central, Southern, and Sub-Saharan Africa.


  • Baby zorilla
  • Newborn zorilla
  • Zorilla's range


  • It's name: Zorilla comes from the word zorro, which in Spanish, means fox

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