Zo*ril"la(?), n. [Sp. zorilla, zorillo, dim. of zorra, zorro, a fox: cf. F. zorille.] (Zol.) Either one of two species of small African carnivores of the genus Ictonyx allied to the weasels and skunks.
The best-known species (Ictonyx zorilla) has black shiny fur with white bands and spots. It has anal glands which produce a very offensive secretion, similar to that of the skunk. It feeds upon birds and their eggs and upon small mammals, and is often very destructive to poultry. It is sometimes tamed by the natives, and kept to destroy rats and mice. Called also
Cape polecat, and
African polecat. The name is sometimes erroneously applied to the American skunk.
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Sun 09th December 2018