Part of the carnivore family and spread across 33 different species, the mongoose is a weasel-like creature residing in Africa, Asia and Europe. With their pointed faces and bushy tails, they are mythically believed to be rodents but, in fact, are not. Keep reading for some seriously mind-blowing facts about this furry creature.
Diet & Habitat of the Mongoose
Primarily found in Africa, the mongoose resides in burrows formed with intricate tunnels, or in trees across various landscapes. Different species of mongoose will occupy different habitats. They are also known to overtake deserted burrows left by other animals instead of digging their own.
Mongooses are omnivorous and consume most things, from small mammals like rodents, worms, fish and birds, to fruit, nuts and seeds. Mongooses are popular for their attacks on venomous snakes, such as the cobra.
Habits & Offspring
Some mongooses live in large colonies of up to 50 members, while others prefer to live alone. They move around during the day, while sleeping at night. They are avid chatters, and are known to use a combination of vowels and syllables like humans do. This is done to communicate with their colonies, and relay information regarding important messages and movements.
Mongooses are cunning and quick in movement, allowing them to dodge attacks from predators like snakes. Across the variety of species, mongooses are known to communicate their reproductive conditions and mark their territories with scent markings.
There is minimal substantial research on the reproduction of the mongoose. They carry their offspring for periods ranging from 42 to 105 days, and can give birth to a maximum of four litter. Mongooses reach the adult phase between 9 months to 2 years old.
More Interesting Facts about the Mongoose:
- The mongoose was a sanctified animal in Ancient Egypt, with mummified mongooses being found in ancient tombs.
- Mongoose litter are born blind.
- They can live up to 20 years in captivity, and up to 10 years in the wild.
- Tuberculosis has been found in mongooses.
- Mongooses were introduced to various Hawaiian islands to kill rodents such as rats, but now threaten the survival of other native species, such as birds.
- The mongoose is fully immune to snake toxins and can outlive more than one snake bite during their lifespan.
If you’d like to view these furry creatures in real life, perhaps a trip to the Kruger National Park will entice you, followed by a luxurious weekend stay at our gorgeous lodge. Make a reservation with us to book in advance and plan a well-deserved getaway!