Though they have some feline qualities in appearance, genets are actually close relatives of the mongoose. They have spotted coats and long, banded tails. Their small heads are highlighted by large ears and eyes.
Habitat & Diet
The species has a wide habitat tolerance, varying from one subspecies to the next. Genets are spread throughout Africa and Southern Europe. They prefer areas with dense vegetation such as forests and woodlands. They are omnivorous but prefer animal matter, mainly rodents. However, they are opportunistic and will eat fruits, bird eggs and invertebrates like scorpions or millipedes.
Genets are primarily solitary animals but small family groups have been observed. Males are generally bigger than females and tend to roam a wider territory in order to feed their more demanding energy needs. They use simple calls to communicate with other individuals from their species.
Meet our Residents
- Genets are highly adaptable! Originally from Africa, they were brought to Europe as exotic pets, then began to escape into the wild. Since then, these small predators have made themselves a part of the local ecosystems.
Status In The Wild
Genets have a very large, stable population in the wild and their conservation status is Least Threatened. They are also a popular exotic pet in both Europe and the U.S., however they are still predators and not suited for life confined to living in a house. Wild genets can be seen as a pest by farmers, as they sometimes hunt poultry, but they are also incredibly effective at keeping rodent populations down. As they have many natural predators, the expected lifespan of a genet in the wild is around 8 years old.