Area of zoo
Pink zone
Enclosure status
Population in the wild
IUCN status
Least Concern
Scientific name
Helogale parvula
East and south central Africa
Wooded savannahs and open woodlands

Dwarf mongoose facts

  • They are the smallest carnivore in Africa.
  • They are very sociable and live in groups of up to 30 individuals.
  • They work together and all help to rear any young in the group and will come together to ward off predators.
  • They like to sleep in disused termite mounds.

What do dwarf mongooses look like?

  • They have a pointed head with small ears.
  • They have a long tail.
  • They have short legs but long claws.
  • Their fur ranges from yellowish red to dark brown.

ZSL wildlife conservation in Africa

Dwarf Mongoose

What do dwarf mongooses eat?

  • Small rodents, reptiles, young birds, eggs, termites, locusts, beetles, grubs, larvae, spiders.
  • When they’re foraging for insects, red billed or yellow billed hornbills will often tag along and eat some of the insects the mongoose flush out.  As a thank you the hornbills will alarm call if they spot a bird of prey which are a threat to the mongoose.  This is called a mutually beneficial relationship.

Zoo conservation stories

Dwarf mongoose threats

Humans sometimes hunt dwarf mongoose for food or because they view them as pests because in places where they live close to humans they will raid poultry farmers eggs.

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