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The Mongoose - Snake Killers as Pets

Rudyard Kipling’s Rikki Tikki Tavi tells the story of a smart and loyal mongoose, whose love for a family brings it to save them from two vicious cobras. The story is an old one, but in its telling and retelling, it has sparked a lot of interest in mongooses, particularly in keeping them as pets.

Are mongooses great to have as pets? Are you planning on getting one?

Here are some mongoose-y facts you should know about, first.

Who is the Mongoose and What does it Eat?

A part of the Herpestidae family, mongooses can be found in different parts of Eurasia and Africa. They generally grow up to 1-4 feet in length, weighing somewhere around 300 grams to 4 kilos. They’re typically covered with a thick coat of fur, typically grey or brown in color.

They are carnivores and are known to prey on earthworms, insects, lizards, crabs, rodents and small or medium-sized foul, like chicken. Mongooses are also known to have a penchant for eggs, occasionally. Ironically, mongooses don’t always eat snake meat. The Indian mongoose is famed all over the world for its ability to successfully fight against venomous snakes (Cobras in particular), but not for eating snake meat after a successful kill.

As carnivores, they are predatory by nature, intelligent and quick in hunting down and capturing their prey.

Mongoose as Pets

Most mongoose species are quite compatible with humans, contrary to their reputation as expert hunters and skillful predators.

Fully domesticated mongoose pets are very loyal, and as smart as mongooses are, they also are highly trainable, even trainable to do tricks with balls and/or hoops. But since not all mongoose species are easy to domesticate, it’s highly advised to pick a species that is.

Most mongoose pet owners have a tough time with their pets when veterinarians are being talked about, particularly with annual rabies shots. Not all vets are qualified to treat mongooses after all, and given that the mongoose is still considered as a wild animal, not all territories even consider it legal to keep them as pets.

But should you be in a place where having a mongoose as a pet is legit, and if you find a vet who knows a lot about mongooses, having them around as pets makes for lovable companions, though a bit fickle to keep around compared to cats or dogs.

Mongooses just have to be well taken care of, regularly interacted with and properly trained and taken care of for them to be lovable, loyal pets.

So? Think you’ll still be getting that mongoose?

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