Owston's Civet

 Owston's Civet

This extremely elusive civet lives in primary and secondary forests near lowland water sources, native to Vietnam, Laos and southern China.

Wild Diet

Earthworms make up the bulk of these animals natural diet, but they also eat fish, frogs, insects and fruit.


Owston’s civets are largely solitary creatures, preferring to spend their time on their own instead of with others of their species. They spend most of their days asleep and starting their foraging for food at dusk. Occasionally they will venture up the trees to look for food but prefer to spend most of their time on the ground using their long snouts to dig into the soil for food.


A female civet will make a den under a tree trunk or inside a dense bush, and this is where she will sleep and have her young. A newborn civet will weigh approximately 88 grams.


These civets occur within protected areas of their range. However illegal poaching and habitas loss still occurs. It was only in 2005 that Owston’s civets were first allowed out of Vietnam to start a breeding programme. An adult pair came to Newquay Zoo, and we have been very successful at breeding the species.

We work with Save Vietnam's Wildlife, a conservation NGO based in Cuc Phuong National Park in Vietnam. Newquay Zoo donates money to fund the project, which helps train rangers within the park and at the breeding centre, plus gives support to local education projects and much needed research on endangered species.

 Owston's Civet


  • Latin Name: Chrotogale owstoni
  • Class: Mammals
  • Order: Carnivora
  • Family: Viverridae
  • Conservation Status: Endangered
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