Animal Behavior

Cobra vs. Indian Mongoose

There Is One Animal That Is Not Afraid Of A Deadly Snake . .

At the end of this video, the narrator says, “Rudyard Kipling would be proud.” Kipling was a British author who, in the late 1800’s wrote many stories about India’s people and wildlife. One of his stories, “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi,” was about a pet mongoose who saves a human family from a family of huge cobras. It is well worth reading—or re-reading, if you have already enjoyed it!

Cobra vs. Indian Mongoose Inside the Glass
Cobra vs. Indian Mongoose Inside the Glass

The gray mongoose is a hero in its native India, specifically for its habit of fearlessly attacking poisonous snakes. It relies on speed and lightening reflexes to overcome the fast-striking reptiles.

However, when introduced to other ecosystems, the mongoose can become an invasive pest, destroying native snakes, birds, reptiles and other wildlife and pushing them toward extinction. This is what happened in the State of Hawaii, where mongooses were introduced in the 1800’s to control rats on sugar-cane plantations. Instead of eating the rats, which are nocturnal, the mongooses, active only during daylight hours, began feasting on native Hawaiian birds. They’ve been a problem there ever since.

Aside from India’s gray mongoose, there are many mongoose species throughout southern Asia and India. The beloved meerkats of Africa are actually a mongoose species.

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