Keeping a mongoose isn’t very common, so you should really make sure you read about it before getting one. These are among the best snake hunters and are mostly wild animals. You should also make sure your country actually allows you to own this creature. Some won’t because of the damage this small creature can do to cultivation and general ground flora.
You will usually find Mongooses in mainland Africa, around Asia, and in some parts of Europe. It belongs to the family of Herpestidae. You can also find them in the US, in places like Barbados, Hawaii, and the Caribbean, as well as in Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.
Mongooses are known to have long bodies and tapering tails. They have a carnivorous diet in the wild. Most species of mongoose will be nocturnal, although there are some that are known to be active during the day as well. Most of the time, it is not advisable to keep mongooses as pets, especially if you don’t know where they came from, because they are very unpredictable and can carry rabies. Most people that at some point get a mongoose as a pet do it because they love their high intelligence levels that enables the creatures to learn complex tricks and follow commands pretty quickly.
Below you will find some great facts about mongooses that would make it easier to make a decision on whether these creatures are the pets for you or not.
These small animals are known to have very small legs and paws with claws that will not retract. They will always be protruding outwards.
One of the qualities that enable them to hunt snakes with great success is their impressive speed. They will be able to tackle snakes that are even four times larger than them, attacking in swift and deft flashes. They can even hunt King Cobra snakes. The way this animal hunts is by doing a ritualistic dance-like maneuver to dodge some snake attacks until the snake is tired enough to be approached. As soon as it notices the snake isn’t moving as much, the mongoose will bite with great speed from the snake’s spinal cord in the neck area and will snap it. This creature will not always eat the snake after attacking it but when it does, it will eat its head along with the fangs.
Although mongooses aren’t completely resistant to venom, they will need a lot to be in any sort of danger. It usually takes around eight times more venom to stop a mongoose’s heart than it takes to stop a human’s heart.
In the wild, a mongoose will choose to live in the crevices of rocks, under trees, or will burrow in the ground, in the search for a damp and dark area. Another cool fact is that mongooses will hardly ever dig their own burrows and instead, they will look for ones that are abandoned by other animals like rabbits or foxes.
You will notice that most mongooses will have some type of gray to brown patterns or streaks on their fur.
The sense of smell is also very impressive in these animals, and it is of great help while hunting venomous snakes. It will keep intruders away from what it considers its territory using a similar technique as skunks. Their scent will also help them attract possible mating partners.
To attract mates of the opposite gender, while courting the mongoose will let out a high-pitched giggling-like sound. This will have interested specimens approach the area where the sound comes from.
Mongooses usually live in groups and when resting, one of them will take the sentinel task and guard the entrance to the burrow. If they see any predators, they will make loud noises to alert the rest of the group members. These will hide within the burrow when they hear the calls.
One of the few mongoose species that will avoid living in groups and will instead be solitary throughout its life is the Egyptian mongoose. On the other hand, the yellow mongoose will be the most social of all and will live in very big communities.
The smallest species is considered the dwarf mongoose, which is why most people will go for this one if they want to keep a mongoose as a pet. It will only grow to about one foot tall. Along with the fact that they will keep any snakes away from your home, they are also very affectionate with people, gentle and meek. Regardless of the mongoose species you go for, if the colony gets big enough, they will damage all of the fauna and flora that surrounds them. This is the main reason why you won’t be allowed to own one in a lot of countries.
One of the most important aspects you need to consider when having a mongoose as a pet is to be careful what you give them to eat. Considering that these animals are carnivorous, they will eat anything from worms, snakes, frogs, lizards, and rats, to cockroaches, grasshoppers, and other insects. If you want to diversify their diets you can give them the occasional berries, nuts, or other fruits. You can give them other foods as well, as long as they like them and eat them.
One of the things that should really worry you is that currently, there are no vaccinations for mongoose rabies, which is a very serious disease. This is why you should really make sure this pet is for you before getting one, especially if you have a family with children.