The Side-Striped Jackal is larger and much more common than its Blacked-backed Jakal relative, with a grey coloured body with white stripes on each side, and a dark, white tipped tail and black ears. It has a modest body length of 650-800mm and a large tail measuring 300-400mm long, while its shoulder height ranges from around 400-500mm and has a mass ranging from 7-12kg. Perhaps surprisingly this jackal is omnivorous, and tends to eat whatever is available in each season. For example, it will eat fruit in seasons when it is abundant and will switch to small mammals such as reptiles, eggs and birds in another season. The breeding season occurs almost exclusively in the months of June and July, and after a gestation period of 57-64 days they tend to litters of 4-6 pups which are born during August to November. Interestingly, some of the responsibility of rearing the pups is given to the last year’s offspring and not just the parents. Old Aardvark borrows are often used as a den, and the parents are extremely territorial and protective of their pups. However, their offspring will eventually scatter and find their own territories. Their habitat tends to be in woodland and scrub areas where they can safely hide and protect their young and eat the fruits from the trees. They are found in abundance from South Africa all the way up to Ethiopia and as far west as Liberia.
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