La Genette

Genette in van

The other day my friend Annie came rushing in, telling me to come as she had something she knew I would want to see.

Genette in cage

The trapper had caught a Genette (Genetta genetta ) in his trap.  Annie’s husband Yvon is the representative of the French Hunting Association in the area so the trapper brought the Genette so that its capture could be noted and they could discuss a suitable place for its release.  The Genette is protected in France and is rarely caught in traps and even more rarely seen in the wild as it is nocturnal and avoids human habitation.  It is carniverous and will eat any small rodents such as wood mice.

Genette long body

I was fascinated to be so close to such a beautiful but savage animal.  It has a very long body and a beautiful coat, I could understand why it used to be hunted for its fur.  It did not seem at all upset to caged in the middle of the day and was taking the extra attention very stoically.  A loud noise made it go on the defensive and it snarled revealing an impressive set of teeth.  It changed from passive pussy cat to serious predator in seconds.

Genette head

I’m afraid the excitement was too much for me and the pictures are a very poor quality.

Only the pregnant females have a fixed den so I’m sure the Genette will not object to being transferred to new hunting grounds.


33 thoughts on “La Genette

  1. Absolutely wonderful!
    I am with Susan on this…
    personally, green with envy!!

    The “Guide des mammifères d’Europe, d’Afrique du Nord et du Moyen-Orient” [Delachaux & Niestlé 2010] states that it has colonised most of South-West France…
    and is still spreading [the map shows a curve from Nantes, running North of the Loire and curving round to the Massif Central, then the South Coast…
    but now regularly seen as far away as Belgium and Germany]…
    whilst mainly carniverous, it, like the Fouine, also eats mushrooms and fruits…
    and the last line of the entry is interesting “Peut-être anciennement domestiquée.
    Might also explain it’s calm nature until worried.

    You lucky, lucky, lucky….
    and what a marvellous friend to come and fetch you!!


    1. Yes, I am very lucky. As the origin of the species is in Africa there is a theory that they may have been brought over as a domesticated animal in ancient times to keep down rodents. I can’t quite buy that idea, I think cats would have been easier. Perhaps ancient fur farms? Its coat was beautiful.


      1. Don’t forget that rich Romans used to excel in their acquisition of strange and exotic pets… and I’ll bet that the Moors may well have done…

        If there was a trade in them in early days, someone may well have started breeding gennets… had the inevitable escapes and now they are visiting you!!
        And will go on slowly expanding, filling gaps in the food chain where they exist…

        {when I was in forestry at the end of the Sixties I saw…
        twice… the fabled Surrey Puma….
        and so did the colleagues with me…
        it had been someone’s “pet” until it got too big…
        it wasn’t at all put out by our appearance…
        it stood up, looked at us and sauntered to the edge of the wooded area and lay down again….
        it was wearing a very big thick leather collar…
        and it was no pet Labrador…
        at that time, if you had the money, you could buy one from the pet shop in Harrods… we were right in the middle of the “stockbroker belt”… and there was no Dangerous Animals Act then!!}


    1. Yes, there is a similarity. Their proportions are not what we are used to in the animals we have around us and the markings are particular too. It looked so calm and gentle until it snarled when it looked a formidable predator.


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