The striped pole cat (also known as a zorilla) has a potent defence mechanism when threatened. It is equipped with an anal stink gland which, when used, will temporarily blind its attacker if sprayed in the face and will irritate the mucous membranes causing a burning sensation. Kind of like pepper spray.

The Zorilla  (Ictonyx striatus) is also known as the African Skunk, African polecat, Cape Pole Cat, zoril or zorille. In Spanish, the name “Zorro” means Fox and this is the word that name Zorilla has been derived from. It is nocturnal and likes to live in rocks and crevices.

Unfortunately, people think that since they are so small and fluffy, that they could be a good pet. Their natural behaviour, which is mostly being active at night (Nocturnal means being active at night) soon becomes a “problem” as they will crawl and climb and nest at night. To these people’s dismay they will find that the zorilla has deconstructed a pillow or torn up the dog food bag and marked the area with their potent scent in an effort to build itself suitable nest and secure a food supply. They decide the animal is “naughty” not realising that THEY have caused the problem by interfering with the natural process. Now are faced with a wild animal that has lost its natural fear of humans and human habitats. It will seek out human settlements as these are “known” to be filled with food and nesting material. What does that new couch, (with the hole in that “your” Zorilla has gnawed through and now lives in), look? What do you think happens next?