Guardian Nature School Team Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Project Noah Nature School visit nature school

Asian Palm Civet

Paradoxurus hermaphroditus


Like a large rat (third photo) or a hyena as some have pointed out (first questions..definitely!...with a lovely long tail. Soulful eyes. This one is a sub adult. A slightly undernourished one.


Outside the window; my office room. This is the heart of the city...near a University, Police station, malls and petrol pumps. Massive traffic. I had just approached the tea table to cut the apple when I realized a furry friend had come to look for some nibbles. It is a good thing that the glass window (sliding) was is usually kept open. I regularly put out a little food every day...and I see civet cat droppings on the AC units. So I know they are around. This window opens to the rear of the building and there are AC-units side by side as you can see in the second last picture. The last picture is the first shot I took when I realized it had come scrounging for food. My (human) friend had spilled some dry savoury stuff (namkeen/chanachur) in the morning and instead of throwing it away, by force of habit, I had put it on the outside part of the window sill. The cub was hungry. Our office canteen is NOT fully functional yet after the lockdown and not much food is cooked and even less is thrown out...I left the four quadrants of apples on the window sill (its side) fled at the sound of the window opening but came back afterwards and like a shadow removed three of the four apple by one. I was watching BUT never caught a glimpse yet every so often when I looked one piece was gone. However, I did see it lurking under the AC units on the ledge.


From Monday onwards it will get a banana a day like the civet cat(s?) that visit my terrace. You can see the soap, detergent, disinfectants etc., all lined up on my side of the window sill (all Covid-era stuff) ...sorry the glass isn't too clean but monsoons are a few months away.

Species ID Suggestions

Sign in to suggest organism ID


SukanyaDatta a year ago

Thanks Tukup. I have seen civet cats by day...they are usually mobbed by crows and chased by people. This one was hungry. I feel sorry forcit over the weekends and when I am on leave. And yes...such a joy.

Tukup a year ago

I was wondering about the risk of rabies with the civet showing up in the daylight. That is usually a red flag. Perhaps driven by hunger, it was out and around. Mine come by at night and only if I am perfectly motionless. They are not tame, nor do I want them to be. Hope you see lots of wildlife. It is such a joy.

SukanyaDatta a year ago

I plead guilty, Tukup ...where animals are concerned...but to be honest I do not feed it the way you describe feeding your friends,,,I peel the bananas and leave them covered by a piece of paper on my window sill when I leave office in the evening (I leave fruits...bananas usually every night on my rooftopterrace and right now I have ripening sour mangoes which my home civet cats are enjoying. I watch eat on the screen of my security cameras...twice there were cubs ) . The sliding glass window of my office room is always securely locked. Rabies is a serious concern in India and these are wild animals. I cannot take the risk.

Tukup a year ago

You're a soft touch Sukanya 😊 I too have "backyard friends" in Omaha, Nebraska, USA that I feed fairly regularly at night. 3-5 skunks, 2-4 raccoons and an occasional opossum frequently come an I sit on the top step and feed them almost at my feet. So much fun. I was thinking I wouldn't dare feed one of our "civets" in such a setting as you described, but what we called a "civet" in our area is actually a spotted skunk (Spilogale putorius). There's a whole new set of rules for them.

SukanyaDatta a year ago

:) Mark, The most civet-friendly of them all is the camera person who took the shot...I have been feeding it on weekdays in office...the ones that come to my terrace at home are better nourished...some bring cubs.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway a year ago

Wow.. lucky you. Reminds me of a young hyena. Civet friendly chemicals I presume. Wonderful. I couldn't help supplementing him either.

SukanyaDatta a year ago

Thank you Jae. I am happy you liked it. This was such an unexpected encounter.

@ Muckpuk, Happy to have posted this which so many have don't expect to see a civet cat, cub or otherwise, in broad day light...face to face separated by just a sliding glass panel. I do not know who was more surprised, the civet cat or me. These are very shy animals. I have put out a banana today ...let's see, how long I can continue to feed it in secret ...

Muckpuk a year ago

Ohhh I love this spotting!
I lived in Singapore, found many dropping sites in the forests but never a live Civet.
I am glad you did and you keep it hush and help them. They are so vulnerable.
Thank you!

Jae a year ago

Wonderful spotting, Sukanya. You have a kind heart!

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway a year ago

That's lovely.

SukanyaDatta a year ago

Ha, ha Leuba but honestly, I would love to run a B and B for them...tooth brushes included. They stay so out of sight, are so elusive, so silent and need so little...and yet and yet and yet....I am happy to know about your secret friend in India...and I am sure he/she is hanging on...that is what I have learned...they hang on and need just a tiny little helping gesture to keep clinging on. I have civet cats in the neighbourhood where I live and ever since I have installed cameras around the house I SEE them as they come to my terrace. Twice, one of them brought a baby along. Such joy!

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway a year ago

What no tooth brush and paste so he can clean his teeth after ?! You are so sweet Sukanya.
We used to have one of these walk across the roof of the house next door every night ( in India) and I used to wait for him in the dark. He remained my secret friend for many months. Now with all the "development" they must have disappeared.

SukanyaDatta a year ago

Dear Mel, Neil and Ingrid...thank you so much for the kind words. It was a totally unexpected encounter.
@ really looked like a mini hyena...My first thought actually. So happy that you think so too! Bananas packed already!

Ingrid3 a year ago

AWE! wonderful friend you are!

Neil Ross
Neil Ross a year ago

Cool spotting, Sukanya. Also looks like a mini hyena! Excellent notes, as always! :)

Mel11 a year ago

I do love your spotting and notes Sukanya!

Spotted by

Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Spotted on Feb 27, 2021
Submitted on Feb 27, 2021

Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors
join Project Noah Team

Join the Project Noah Team