Wild genets spotted in suburban Johannesburg

Wild genets spotted in suburban Johannesburg

Increased urbanisation is pushing wild genets into suburban areas of Johannesburg. 

Nick Ferreira

The thunderstorms at the weekend brought some unexpected visitors to the doorsteps of Johannesburg residents. David Overton of Melville posted about a wild genet sighting on the community Facebook group, saying they had "never seen one here before": 

"We found a spotted genet on our patio last night, huddling in a corner after a sudden downpour. By this morning it had gone. Never seen one here before, and we’ve been in Melville since the 1970s. But maybe the long hot, dry, spell had something to do with it. Apparently these cute little animals are appearing in suburban gardens more frequently. We live three streets away from the Koppies, so it may have come from there."

Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo representative Jenny Moodley informed the public that "small spotted genets are often encouraged onto properties because they aid in keeping vermin populations in check, especially in areas where crops can be negatively affected by pests", adding that they are not a threat to human beings. 

The animals are usually found in dry areas but as their habitats are destroyed by urbanisation they are pushed closer to towns. This is not the first sighting of a genet in the suburbs, as Johannesburg residents also reported seeing genets in 2017. 

If you see a genet, do not feed it as they need to remain wild. 

Image: Nick Ferreira Photography

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