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Cryptoprocta-ferox1140898958
The fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox) is the largest carnivore in Madagascar. Looking very similar to a cat, it hunts by leaping through the trees to prey on lemurs and other small animals, such as birds and frogs. The fossa lives alone, patrolling its forest territory at dawn and dusk and sheltering in caves or inside disused termite mounds by day.

Fossas sometimes attack domestic animals, such as pigs and poultry, and are often killed as pests by people, who also unnecessarily fear that the fossas may attack them. This persecution, combined with the destruction of their forest habitat, means that fossas have become very rare, like much of Madagascar's native wildlife.

Fossas only spend time with other members of their species during the breeding season, which is in September and October. The females give birth three months later, in the height of summer.

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ARKive photos and videos of the fossa