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Meet Rikki-Tikki and Tavi

Date: 14 Jul 2017

Yellow mongoose

We have recently become home to a brother and sister pair of yellow mongoose.

The pair arrived from Bristol Zoo a few months ago and visitors can now spot them in their newly built enclosure, beside the recently renovated and extended reptile and amphibian house.

Senior keeper, Allan Galway, said “We are delighted to welcome our new yellow mongoose pair. They were quite nervous at first but are starting to settle in and explore their surroundings. We have named the new arrivals, Rikki-Tikki and Tavi, after the famous short story in Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book about an adventurous mongoose.

In the wild, these mammals can be found in scrub desert and arid grassland throughout Africa including Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, South Africa and Angola. Yellow mongoose live in burrows which they often share with other small mammals such as ground squirrels and meerkats.

Zoo manager, Alyn Cairns, said “When we were developing the new reptile and amphibian house, we identified the opportunity to develop an area beside it for a new mammal species. We subsequently decided to build an area for mongoose due to the educational links between these small carnivores that are natural predators to a number of African snakes, even some venomous species! This is the first time that we have cared for yellow mongoose at Belfast Zoo. We are excited to learn more about the species and we hope to form a breeding group in the future.”

There’s fun for all the family at Belfast Zoo this summer with the new reptile and amphibian house, daily feeding times, a new visitor photography base camp, the Adventurers’ Learning Centre, all the latest zoo babies and you can even call by to visit Rikki-Tikki and Tavi.