Average life span of jackals is about 8-9 years in nature and up to 16 years in captivity. In places jackals serve as an object of hunting, although their skin is of a rather poor quality. Ordinary jackals very easily adapt to different types of food. Their diet consists of food of ani mal and vegetable origin. Usually the prey of jackals are small animals, birds, lizards, snakes, frogs, fish, locusts, beetles and other insects.
The jackals eat a lot of berries and fruits, including grapes, bulbs of plants, melons, watermelons and the roots of sugar cane. Very often jackals feed at someone else’s expense. When they eat carrion, they perform the function of the orderly, which is very necessary in nature. In severe winters jackals exterminate many acclimatized nutria and wintering waterfowl.
The gon in these animals begins at the end of winter. Pregnancy lasts almost 2 months. In the brood there are usually 5-8 (occasionally 3-12) puppies. After 10-12 days they begin to see and feed on mother’s milk until 5-6 months. The jackals multiply in shallow burrows and dens. In autumn young puppies become independent and begin to hunt singly or in pairs. Sexual maturity of young females reach in a year, and young males – in two.