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Ivory Coast

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Pierre Albuisson has only designed this one stamp for the Ivory Coast, the civet cat. It is a very nice engraving that gives a feeling of being in the jungle, with the cat focusing on the viewer. 

The civet is a mostly nocturnal animal, from the Viverridae family, found in Africa and the East Indies.  

Ivory Coast 1992. Civet (Viverra civetta).

It is approximately 17-28 inches in length, excluding its long tail, and weighs about 3 to 10 pounds. 

Although classified within the Carnivera order, the palm civet of Southern Asia (so named because it can be found in palms), is a fruit-eating mammal.  

Although the Viverridae family is distantly related to the Felidae family of which the common domestic cat is a member, the civet is not a cat. It is said to be more related to the mongoose than to any cat. 

The civet is a cunning-looking little animal, with a catlike body, long legs, a long tail, and a masked face resembling a raccoon or weasel.  In some areas of the world, it has become an endangered species, hunted for its fur or as a food source. The civet's taste for fruit has been its downfall in at least one area of southeast Asia; as early as the 18th century, the durian fruit was also called "civet fruit," because it was used as bait for catching civets.

The civet not only is fond of fruit, but has had a love-hate relationship with growers of a particular coffee bean in Viet Nam. Civets love this bean, and search out the tastiest examples with their long, foxlike nose. The hardiest beans survive the digestive process of the civet, and are prized in caphe cut chon, or fox-dung coffee (Vietnamese call the civet "fox."). 

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Published June 2005. Revised 08-feb-2007
Copyright © Ann Mette Heindorff & Pierre Albuisson 
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