The mongoose is a small terrestrial mammal with a carnivorous nature. It falls into the family Herpestidae. There are many species of mongoose native to Southern Europe, Africa and Asia.
Mongooses have long faces and bodies with small rounded ears, short legs and long tapering tails. They mostly feed on insects, crabs, lizards, birds, rodents, eggs and carrion.
One amazing characteristic of mongooses (especially the Indian gray mongoose) is in their ability to kill snakes such as the dreaded and venomous mamba. Animals trying to kill snakes is akin to suicide, but for the mongoose, this is an exception. Although snakes might scare even the strongest of hearts, the mongoose will fight and hunt them down like a Pro. “Gosh!!! How are they able to do that?” You may ask. Please, read on.
The black mamba, found in Africa, is one of the world’s most feared snakes and generally considered the most aggressive and dangerous snake in the world. A black mamba’s venom can kill an adult human in 7-15 hours and the mortality rate is put at almost 100%.
THE MONGOOSE GIMMICK
Although the mongoose has a well developed system of defense (in form of acetylcholine receptors) which neutralize and evade a mamba’s venom, the mammal’s hunting prowess and tricks employed in taking down the mamba snake cannot be trivialized. But, the fact remains that a mongoose won’t like to be bitten by a mamba as the bites are very painful.
In a face-off with a mamba, first and foremost, the mongoose attacks when the snake comes out to the open fields by standing in it’s way. It then waits for the mamba to first launch the offensive move. Once it makes up its mind to attack, the mongoose does a series of very rapid lateral movements (like a boxer’s move in a ring) even before it attacks the snake. Then it employs the hit-and-run tactic as if to say to the mamba, “if thou be a snake strong enough, fight me.” At this juncture, the mamba has the option of maneuvering into the bush and veering off, but it won’t! Rather, it will stay and fight the mongoose to prove its aggressive nature- an undoing with grave consequences.