african polecat


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Zorilla \Zo*ril"la\, n. [Sp. zorilla, zorillo, dim. of zorra,
   zorro, a fox: cf. F. zorille.] (Zool.)
   Either one of two species of small African carnivores of the
   genus Ictonyx allied to the weasels and skunks. [Written
   also zoril, and zorille.]
   [1913 Webster]

   Note: The best-known species (Ictonyx zorilla) has black
         shiny fur with white bands and spots. It has anal
         glands which produce a very offensive secretion,
         similar to that of the skunk. It feeds upon birds and
         their eggs and upon small mammals, and is often very
         destructive to poultry. It is sometimes tamed by the
         natives, and kept to destroy rats and mice. Called also
         mariput, Cape polecat, and African polecat. The
         name is sometimes erroneously applied to the American
         skunk.
         [1913 Webster]
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