Scientific Name: Canis mesomelas
The black-backed jackal is a canid native to two areas of Africa. One region is the southernmost tip, including South Africa, Namibia, and Botswana. The second area is along the eastern coastline which includes Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, and Ethiopia. The Black-backed Jackal has a slender body, long legs, and large ears. It weighs 13–29 pounds and stands 15–19 inches at the shoulder. Its body length can measure 26.5–32.0 inches. Its base color is reddish brown or tan. A black saddle intermixed with silvery hair runs from the shoulders to the base of the tail. The tail is bushy and has a black tip. The muzzle, throat, chest and inner surface of the limbs are white. In the winter the coat is a deeper reddish brown.
This Black-backed Jackal can be found all through arid coastal deserts, woodland savannahs, and lightly wooded forests. They prefer open habitats but they have been seen on the fringes of built up areas. They are omnivores but the primary component of their diet is insects. They will also feed on rodents, hares, young antelope, carrion, mussels, and snakes. Frequently they eat small bits of grass.