The Amazing Mongoose: Fearless, Agile, Snake Killer
A number of years ago, perhaps as many as 50 or more years, I watched a jumpy blinking amateur movie film of a fight between a King Cobra and a mongoose. I had heard of mongooses but had never seen one or even seen a picture of one. That film impressed me more than any I had seen or have seen since. It still remains clear in my mind.
The online dictionary “Answers”, has this to say concerning them: Any of various Old World carnivorous mammals of the genus Herpestes and related genera, having a slender agile body and a long tail and noted for the ability to seize and kill venomous snakes.
I was raised on a farm amid all types of domesticated animals, including cats and dogs plus I lived in an area where there were many snakes although only a small number of poisonous ones. In the area of creeks and streams, one might occasionally see a Cottonmouth Moccasin, or in the fields and mountainous areas, a Rattlesnake. But these were not numerous. We had a dog named Trixie, who would attack and sling a snake back and forth vigorouslly until it was dead. But these snakes were non-poisonous and were normally trying to escape rather than to fight, so her ability to kill them was not so impressive.
I’ve never known of a cat attacking a snake since the cats we always had were fearful of them. I’ve even had snakes strike at me, but I always kept my distance enough that none ever hit their target. I always had respect for their long reach lunging ability even those which were not poisonous. These facts made the film so much more impressive. Several things about it gave room for extreme admiration for the mongoose even though after it was over, it was the cobra which deserved any sympathies.
One thing that amazed me was the fact that the mongoose had an inborn dislike or hatred for the snake. Or perhaps he was simply hungry. He could have readily walked away. He was in no way, being attacked by the snake, yet he was determined to kill it. Wikipedia’s opening remarks on the mongoose is a follows:
A mongoose (plural: mongooses or, rarely, mongeese) is a member of the family Herpestidae (although also used for some members of Eupleridae), a family of small, cat-like carnivores.
Mongooses are apparently native of Asia, Africa and/or Europe since that is where they are found primarily although they have been introduced into some of the Caribbean and Hawaiian islands.They feed on rats, lizards, snakes and almost any other small wild critters.
There are a number of species of mongoose but it is primarily the Indian Mongoose which is known for it’s ability to successfully defeat poisonous snakes including the King Cobra. I have links to two videos which show the fearlessness and unbelievable reflexes.
They are really not as good as the old, old 35mm movie clip I watched back whenever. If you watch these videos, don’t become overly nervous that the mongoose might be harmed. You rather need to pray for the cobra.