Monitor Diaries
September 5, 2014

More camera trap selfies for the hitch-hiking genet

For those of you who were surprised to see a large spotted genet riding a buffalo – we have more surprises in store...It seems this this genet is making a habit of riding large herbivores for his camera trap selfies.Our volunteer project in Hluhluwe reserve (South Africa) assists Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, the national park authority, in protecting the endangered and threatened species on Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park. As part of these conservation efforts we use camera traps to monitor the more elusive endangered species such as black rhino. These animals are difficult to track by vehicle and therefore the cameras allow us to monitor their movements through the park.While the camera traps’ main purpose is to monitor our priority species, they are triggered by movement and thus give us brief glimpses of other shy or nocturnal creatures such as porcupine or aardvark.

However what we never expected to find was a camera hungry genet.

The large spotted genet is a nocturnal mammal that is only found in South Africa. It is rather small only reaching about 21cm at shoulder height.However it seems like this lonely genet has tried to make friends outside of his species. It’s just he/she only seems to like really large herbivore type friends.This behaviour has stumped most of us at Wildlife ACT as we can’t see any benefit for these species to be seen together – with the possible exception of a height advantage for the genet.It seems like he doesn’t need a reason as he continues to ride first the buffalo and now the rhino of Hluhluwe, night after night.He decided to jump on this rhino on the very same night that he was seen riding on the back of two separate buffalo.

Hluhluwe Camera Trap Genet Rhino 1

Then three nights later...

Hluhluwe Camera Trap Genet Rhino 3
Hluhluwe Camera Trap Genet Rhino 2

Then the following evening...

Hluhluwe Camera Trap Genet Rhino 5
Hluhluwe Camera Trap Genet Rhino 6

And again four nights after that.

Hluhluwe Camera Trap Genet Rhino 4
Hluhluwe Camera Trap Genet Rhino 7

This genet seems to be determined to get the best selfie possible and we just enjoy getting to witness this absolutely bizarre behaviour.Volunteer with Wildlife ACTWildlife ACT allows volunteers to join their team in the field. To find out more about volunteering with Wildlife ACT email,