Black-backed jackal (Canis mesomelas)
Also known as the silver-backed Jackal, it inhabits two areas of the African continent separated by roughly 900 km. One region is the southern tip of the continent, including South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. The other area is along the eastern coastline, including Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti and Ethiopia.
Although the most lightly built of jackals, it is the most aggressive, it’s been observed killing animals many times its own size, and the inter pack relationships are more quarrelsome.
Black-backed jackals are omnivores, which feed on invertebrates, such as beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, termites, millipedes, spiders and scorpions. They will also feed on mammals, such as rodents, hares and young antelopes. They will also feed on carrion, lizards, and snakes.
A pair of black-backed jackals in the Kalahari desert was observed to kill and devour a Kori bustard and, on a separate occasion, a black mamba Black-backed jackals will occasionally feed on fruits and berries. In coastal areas, they will feed on beached marine mammals, seals, fish and mussels.
Sounds made by black-backed jackals include yelling, yelping, woofing, whining, growling and cackling. When calling to one another, they emit an abrupt yelp followed by a succession of shorter yelps. Jackals of the same family will answer each other’s calls, while ignoring those of strangers. When threatened by predators, they yell loudly. Black-backed jackals in southern Africa are known to howl much like golden jackals. They woof when startled, and cackle like foxes when trapped.
A visit to Rietvlei last Saturday rewarded me with an unusual sighting, one that crossed the road in front of me and then lay down… Love the grass wrapped around it’s nose…
These photos are of BBJ’s in the Kalahari Gemsbok Park…..
and the last photo I’ve shared with you before…. my jumping BBJ that was a lucky capture….