Black-backed Jackals [Canis mesomelas]
Black-backed Jackal is a smallish dog like animal that has a dominantly red-rust colour coat with a distinct black patch on its back that stretches from the neck to the tail. It has a pointy face with large pointy ears. Both male and female Black-backed Jackals have long legs. The male weighs an average of 8kg while the female weighs 7kg.
Black-backed Jackal is a scavenger animal that prefers finding prey than catching it. They are omnivores that has a diet of hares, chickens, small birds, reptiles and prey smaller than itself.
Black-backed Jackals have a gestation period of about 60 days in which an average of 2 pups are born.
Black-backed Jackals are nocturnal animals that can live in solitary, with a partner or in a small pack. Jackals prefer areas with tall grass that helps them camouflage during hunting or to protect them from much larger predators like lions or leopards. Black-backed Jackals have a variety of ways they can communicate like yelping, barking, cackling or howling. Black-backed Jackals are very territorial animals.
The Black-backed Jackals have two main regions where they are encountered. The first area includes; Namibia, South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe. These animals aren’t a common sight in the Kruger Park but there have been sightings of Black-backed Jackals on Kruger Day safaris. The other region where these jackals can be found is Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea and Ethiopia.
The Black-backed Jackals have a very distinctive black stripe on its back making it easy to identify.