Common Palm Civets encounter bananas

posted in: Fauna, Mammals, Videography | 2

It was in October 2014 that I first found out that the Common Palm Civets (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) were regularly visiting my garden. That was when their poop and broken shells of the African Giant Snails (Achatina fulica) that they fed on were found together – see HERE.

CommonPalmCivet-bananas

Since then I was hoping for a personal encounter. And the opportunity came in late May 2016, nearly two years later.

I had left bunches of bananas on a bench in my porch for them to ripen. Then one morning I found a few fruits eaten and others messed up

CommonPalmCivet-bananas

Suspecting the Common Palm Civet to be the culprit, I left a ripening bunch and set up my video cam that night to collect evidence. At around 2320 hours I heard a loud sound coming from the porch.

A civet was caught on video climbing up the bench, biting on to a banana and dragging the entire bunch to the ground, thus the noise (video below). Two fruits were ripped from the bunch and eaten some distance away. The next morning I found two sets of banana skins.

The next night I placed the remaining bananas inside a small wire cage and left it on the same bench. Sure enough at around the same time more than one civet were caught on video (above).

CommonPalmCivet-bananas

A head was seen peering at the caged bananas from the ground, just before another climbed up the bench.

The latter sniffed around the cage looking for a way to get at the fruits. The cage door was left open but too small for the civet to poke its head in. Unable to get at the bananas it left. Immediately after another civet appeared but moved away.

CommonPalmCivet-bananas

Were there two or three civets caught on video? To get an answer I again left some ripe bananas on the bench another night, but this time they were not caged. The view of the video cam was widened as I hoped to catch the civets moving in to the bananas from the garden (video below).

The video did document three civets coming for the bananas, but one at a time, and at different times. They were extremely shy. Two civets were seen hiding under the car before approaching the bananas.

CommonPalmCivet-bananas

The civets were shy and cautious when they moved from their hiding place towards the bananas. After all, two porch lights were left on to provide lighting for the video documentation.

The image at the top came from the first video. Subsequent images are screen grabs from the second video showing a civet emerging from under the parked car and moving towards the bench where the bananas were.

YC Wee
Singapore
4th June 2016

2 Responses

  1. Howard Banwell

    What delightful creatures, and good to see they are adapting to human presence in this way

  2. They are more common than we think. Generally we do not encounter them as they move around in the dead of the night…

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