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Photographer Dana Allen had a most unexpected daytime encounter near Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp... well spotted (or should we say striped?) Dana!

'A few days ago at Hoanib I had the pleasure of spotting a striped polecat, my first ever live sighting. When I consulted the books, they all said that they are strictly nocturnal and located all across the region except for the Skeleton Coast. I saw this little guy about 20 miles from the coast at 8 in the morning... my conclusion was that he can't read!'

Also known as the zorilla, the striped polecat is member of the Mustelidae family and most resembles the skunk (family Mephitidae). The name zorilla comes from the word "zorro", which in Spanish means "fox". Its defence spray mechanism also closely resembles that of skunks.

We have to wonder why Dana’s polecat is missing so much tail hair… could it have been lost in a territorial battle? Solitary and aggressive, polecats generally only socialise for breeding.

Favouring a diet of small rodents, snakes, birds, amphibians and insects means Dana’s little specimen won’t go hungry in the remarkably abundant Hoanib River valley.

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By Josephine Bestic

With a background in wildlife and conservation publishing, copywriter and digital marketer Jo has found her niche happily managing the content for Wilderness Safaris’ social media accounts.

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