With a catlike appearance, climbing and leaping skills, and an affinity for stalking and pouncing on prey, the fossa

Fossas at the Cincinnati Zoo in the old Cat House.

(Cryptoprocta ferox) was once thought to belong to the cat family. This mongoose relative plays an important role as predator in keeping prey populations in check. The fossa keeps its balance with the help of a tail as long as its body.


  • Pronunciation: FOO-sa
  • Length: 2 to 2.5 ft
  • Weight: 21 to 44 lbs
  • Lifespan: Up to 17 yrs
  • Habitat: Rainforest
  • Range: Madagascar
  • Diet: Primarily lemurs, some snakes, pigs, tenrecs, fish, and guinea fowl
  • Risk Status: Species at Risk (IUCN—Vulnerable)
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