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Z Is For Zorilla

Updated on December 9, 2013

do you smell something? what do you mean it's half a mile away?!

OMG, it's sooo cute! Is it a skunk? Nope, it's a zorilla. And before you get too enamored with the appearance of this cute, black-and-white little resident of Africa, there's something you need to know. The zorilla is considered by those in-the-know (or is that "in the nose?") to be THE smelliest animal on Earth.

How could something so adorable-looking reek that badly?

All About Zorillas

At first glance you might think this is a skunk, but in fact, it is a Zorilla. (rhymes with Gorilla) This fuzzy little guy lives in Africa. It is often described as the smelliest animal on the planet because it's stinky scent can be detected up to a half a mile away. That's just over 1,700 yards, or over 5,000 feet. If you are still trying to gt an idea of just how stinky this little guy is, you'd be able to smell one if you were fourteen and a half football fields away from one.

That is one potent and nasty smell! Especially when you consider how humans are not the most scent-sensitive creatures on the planet. If we think it reeks, just imagine how bad it would be for animals who have really refined sense of smell?

Their smell is so strong, most larger animals avoid them, and about the only time zorillas aren't alone is during mating season. They live mostly in savannahs and grasslands. Most likely you won't see one as they are nocturnal. They are also called "striped polecats." And they can be called Zorillas, Zorillas, Zorilles or Zorils. Just in case you were wondering...

Books about Zorillas and other African Animals

What do Zorillas eat?

Zorillas are carnivorous, and like to eat mice, frogs, bugs and lizards.

Take A Look (and be glad you can't smell!)

If you've ever encountered a Zorilla, either in a zoo or in the wild, either up close or from extremely far away (which might have really been for the best), please share your experiences with us!

Anybody ever seen a Zorilla?

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    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      5 years ago from Central Florida

      Skunks are bad enough so I'm glad this animal lives on a different continent from me. He does have a cute face though.

    • Euryale Sinclair profile imageAUTHOR

      Euryale Sinclair 

      5 years ago from The Left Coast

      @anonymous: yep.... that's one serious long-distance stink!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      half a mile is over 2500 feet a MILE is over 5000 feet


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