Owston’s civet

Chrotogale owstoni

NZ Civet Kitten Young AD LR 1
IUCN Conservation Status –
Least Concern
Extinct In The Wild
Class: Mammals
Order: Carnivora
Family: Viverridae

We are home to Cô Gái and Nhut Nhat, a pair of Owston’s civets. Visit our Oriental Garden to find these beautiful mammals. However, they are quite elusive so you may need to be patient to see them!

Owston’s civets are native to Vietnam, Laos and southern China and inhabit primary and secondary forests near lowland water sources.

Earthworms make up the bulk of these animals natural diets. However they will also eat frogs, fish, insects and fruit.

Interesting facts!

  • Owston’s civets are largely solitary creatures, preferring to spend time on their own instead of with others of their species.
  • They spend most of their time on the ground using their long snout to forage for food, however they will occasionally venture up trees to find food too.
  • Newborn civets weigh around 88 grams, which is the same as a deck of cards.


These civets occur within protected areas of their range. However illegal poaching and habitas loss still occurs. It was only in 2005 that Owston’s civets were first allowed out of Vietnam to start a breeding programme. An adult pair came to Newquay Zoo, and we have been very successful at breeding the species.

We carry out research on reproductive behaviours of our civets, which helps to support breeding programmes in both the UK and their native Vietnam.