Named for the broad, dark saddle on the upper body, which extends from the neck to the base of the tail, the Black-Backed Jackal is a nocturnal scavenger, although they also kill for themselves and prey on small mammals and birds.
The black-backed jackal is known for its habit of trailing lions and other carnivores when a kill is made: up to 10 jackals will keep a distance until the big predators have had their fill from the carcass. They also dine on newborn buck, springhares, mongooses, mice, rats, lizards and insects.
The black-backed jackal is known as a wary and cunning animal. They are one of the few mammalian species with a long term pair bond. From 5 to 7 young are born, in holes in the ground, which are very often disused aardvark burrows adjusted to suit their needs.