It is always a thrill catching sight of the black-backed jackal when on safari. This cunning, intelligent scavenger is commonly seen at Kariega Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape and a vital component of its eco-system.
The black-backed jackal is easily identified by the broad, dark saddle that runs from it’s neck to the base of the tail and the reddish colour of it’s head, flank and limbs which earned it the Afrikaans name of rooijakkals (red jackal).
This little animal is as interesting as it is beautiful. Here are the top five most interesting facts about the black-backed jackal.
Top Five Black-Backed Jackal Facts
1. Life Partners
Black-backed jackals are monogamous and mate for life. Males are only slightly bigger and heavier than females, with adult males weighing in at 8kg and their female counterparts at 7kg.
2. Season for Breeding
Black-backed jackals only breed between June and August each year. The gestation period is two months and they typically produce between one and six pups.
3. A Family Affair
The one-year-old pups often stay on after a new litter arrives for the dual purpose of helping their parents and learning about raising pups.
4. A Whole Lot of Noise
The black-backed jackal has a very distinctive howl, as heard clearly at a point in the video. A howl by any individual jackal is answered immediately by their family members before other individuals or groups in the area join in, creating a stereo effect! They call to one another most commonly in the evening or at night.
5. Creative Hunters
Black-backed jackals are omnivorous scavengers that will eat almost anything they can get their jaws around. They are creative hunters who typically pounce on anything smaller than themselves or work in groups to pursue and subdue larger prey like impala or even wildebeest. They will also prey on old or sick animals and scavenge on any carcasses available – playing the vital role of keeping the number of parasites in the area down and the ecosystem healthy.
Did you see the black-backed jackal on your Kariega Game Lodge safari? If you did we are certain it was one of your highlights! Tell us all about it in the comments below or post your image on our Kariega Facebook page.