Thursday, December 16, 2010
Banded Mongoose - Mungos mungo
Banded Mongoose (Mungos mungo) occur mainly in the dry savannah and woodlands of northern Namibia and are commonly seen in the Etosha National Park.
They are diurnal, sociable animals, living in packs, or 'mobs', of 30 to 50 individuals.
They feed mainly on insects but will take other invertebrates, mice and wild fruits.
The characteristic feature of this species is the series of up to 15 transverse black bands from the mid-back to the base of the tail, which gives rise to their name.
Individuals in the pack maintain contact by twittering and strident chittering of members warning the pack to slip off quietly when there is danger.
I photographed some at Namutoni Rest Camp in Etosha where they have become 'tame' and unafraid of humans.
This one appeared to be trying to look 'cute', hoping that tourists would throw food at it.
This year, for the first time, I've had a mob of about 30 visiting my house.
At first I thought it was nice to have them around but soon changed my mind after they started chasing chickens off their nests and eating their eggs.
I photographed the one above through my window, eating an egg - they finished off a clutch of 12 eggs in a matter of minutes.
They disappeared for a few days after I took a couple of shots at them with a catapult but I'm sure they'll be back now that they know there are eggs to be found here.
I've also noticed that they've dug holes under the rocks in my rock stockpile and that most of the scorpions that were living there have disappeared.
Amy Schoeman - Notes on Nature
Reay Smithers - Land Mammals Of Southern Africa