| The Indian gray mongoose is one of the
few animals that can survive a cobra attack, which makes it one of the
deadly snake’s few predators. Still, the mongoose generally prefers to
eat smaller and less dangerous prey. The Indian gray mongoose has speckled
gray fur and a long, bushy tail that it carries behind it in a straight
line when walking on all four paws. When the mongoose confronts an enemy
such as the cobra, it sits on its haunches and stretches its body to its
full height to look more menacing.
Habits: Although the Indian gray mongoose spends most of its time on the ground, it can climb walls and trees as well as a monkey. The mongoose can also backward in a straight line for short distances. By rolling into a ball and jumping up on its hind legs, it can leap high into the air. The mongoose is active during the day, when it hunts. At night it sleeps on the ground in a termite nest or in a den that it digs itself. It is found in open country and in the lightly wooded areas of its range.
Food and Hunting: The mongoose is a skillful hunter that actively searches for prey by using its strong senses of smell and sight. It eats anything it can catch. The Indian gray mongoose commonly eats small mammals such as rats, as well as eggs and a variety of insects, including the scorpion. The mongoose sniffs the ground and turns over rocks and stones in its search for prey. If the animal tries to flee, the mongoose chases it. It kills its prey while they are both running by delivering a bite to the neck or head. Although the mongoose eats snakes, including the poisonous cobra the main part of its diet consists of small animals that live on or under the ground. The mongoose is a fast and agile hunter. It is always watchful for prey.
Breeding: Although the gray mongoose is
widespread, little is known of its breeding habits in the wild. Males and
females are solitary except during the mating season. After mating, each
pair separates, and the male often mates with other females. Two months
after mating, two to four young are born in a well hidden nest on the ground.
If predators or intruders threaten, the mother mongoose carries her young
in her mouth to safety.
Related Species: The family of viverridae
includes genets, civets, and linsangs. The dwarf mongoose of Ethiopia is
only 17 in. long from head to tip of tail. The African civet is the largest,
with a body 33 in. long
Indian Gray Mongoose fighting a Cobra:
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