The aardwolf is in the order Carnivora in the family Hyaenidae. It has long, slender legs, long neck and sloping back. Colour across their back rangers from pale yellow to red. Aardwolves have three vertical black stripes on the sides, with one or two diagonal stripes across the fore and hind quarters. The tail ends with a black tip as do the front of their feet. They have large, pointed ears with a mane running from the back of the head to the tail. The muzzle is black. They are primarily nocturnal, coming out at night to eat. They are generally solitary and very territorial, scent marking regularly to define their territory.
Mating takes place around the first two weeks of July. Aardwolves are very promiscuous and dominate males may copulate with many different females from other territories. Females have 1-4 cubs after a gestation period of 91 days. Cubs are born in the den where they will remain for a month. After 9 weeks the cubs being foraging for themselves. After four months they are weaned and largely independent.
Loss of habitat due to encroaching urbanization and agriculture may be having a negative impact. Main mortality factors include road accidents and predation by larger carnivores. Previously, the aardwolf was wrongful persecuted for taking livestock.