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Yellow mongoose

Cynictis penicillata

Yellow mongoose

There are several subspecies of yellow mongoose. The southern ones are yellowish and the northern ones tend to be grey. They are preyed on by snakes, jackals and birds of prey. They are normally very quiet, communicating by movements of the tail. When fighting, however, they will often scream. They can also purr and bark and, when frightened, they can growl. They have an anal gland that can secrete a cheesy-smelling milky fluid. This is used to deter predators.

In 2017, we become home to a brother and sister pair of yellow mongoose. The pair arrived from Bristol Zoo and are called Rikki-Tikki and Tavi.

Animal class


Diet - Carnivorous
They eat mostly invertebrates, but will eat lizards, snakes and eggs.

A yellow mongoose can be 500 millimetres long and weigh 500 grams.

They are found in grasslands and scrubs of southern Africa.

Conservation status
The IUCN considers that the yellow mongoose is not yet facing a risk of extinction in the wild.

There are no major threats to the yellow mongoose. Road kill is common. It is often regarded as a pest because of its burrow building.

Current population
The yellow mongoose is still quite common and populations are stable.

Zoo population
The yellow mongoose is a monitored species. There are around 250 yellow mongoose in zoos around the world.