Mongoose

 

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Mongoose (Cusimanse)

Range: Asia & Africa

Natural Diet: Small rodents, small reptiles, and insects.  Strictly carnivorous.

Diet at RainForest: Ferret diet supplemented with mice.

Size: 2-3 pounds

RainForest Facts:  The Mongoose family has over 30 recognized species  and many more sub species.  These important predators are generally social creatures.   Mongoose can live in family and social groups totaling over 30 individuals.  This highly advanced social behavior helps all members of the family. The babies are protected by several adult females, while the adult males tend to protect the entire group from would be predators such as monitor lizards. 

Females give birth to 1-2 babies after a 90 day gestation period.  The babies are raised communally by several lactating females in the troop.

Recognized as killers of cobras and other venomous snakes; the mongoose has a reputation for blinding speed.  In reality the strike of the cobra is very quick. It is the social behavior of several mongoose surrounding the cobra that actually allow the kill to take place.  While one or more mongoose distract the cobra, who is by nature a visual hunter, the other mongoose attack from behind biting the animal repeatedly until the cobra is worn down. 

Riki Tiki Tavi of famed literature was a mongoose. 

A notable relative of the mongoose is the meerkat of Timon and Pumba fame!

Status in Wild: Threatened, loss of habitat is primary reason.  

 

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