Yellow mongoose

Yellow Mongoose Introduction

The Yellow mongoose, also known as the Red meerkat is a species of small mammal native to south African countries including, Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Its name comes from the color of its coat, which can, in fact, vary among subspecies from yellow to gray. It prefers to live in habitats with open grassland, arid savanna and scrub areas where it can find a wide range of prey to eat. Yellow mongooses are primarily diurnal and spend most of their day foraging, though sometimes they are active at night. They rest or sunbathe outside their dens before going off to feed and travel. Living in permanent burrows, they often share them with meerkats and ground squirrels, although they can make very complex burrows. Yellow mongooses are a social species and the colonies they live in are usually focused on a family group of a male and female with their youngest offspring, along with subadults, very old adults, and other individuals that have an association with the group. The home ranges of males often overlap and are bigger than those of the females. They are quiet animals, though they will scream during fights, growl when threatened, bark, and purr. The tail may be a means of communication.

Keywords to learn

Subadult: An animal that is not fully adult

Rabies: A contagious and fatal viral disease of dogs and other mammals, transmissible through the saliva to humans and causing madness and convulsions

Key Data

  • Order:
  • Lifespan:
    15 years.
  • Class:
  • Scientific Name:
    Cynictis penicillata.
  • Mass:
    450-800 g.
  • Length:
    23-33 cm.
  • Region found:
    Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
  • Population Status:
    Least concern.
  • Current population trend:
  • Diet:
  • Sexual maturity:
    12 months.


As you have just learned, the Yellow mongoose is a cute and cuddly looking animal that lives in burrows. they are very communal and are often kept together in captivity.


Now that you know more about the Yellow mongoose by learning the key data above, be sure also to check out the fun facts. When you are finished learning the facts, try answering the questions in the Q&A corner on the bottom right side of the page.



Download questions about the Yellow mongoose here: Yellow Mongoose (answers are on this page)





Mongoose Fun Facts for Kids

  • # 1. Yellow mongooses are polygynous, which means that one male mates with multiple females. 
  • # 2.  The breeding season in the wild is usually from July until late September, so most births occur from October to November. Gestation varies from 42 to 57 days.
  • # 3. It is unknown whether males participate in feeding and caring for the young.
  • # 4.  The Yellow mongoose is not faced with any major threats, though the impact of road deaths might be worth considering. In South Africa in the wild, they are a host (or carrier) of a strain of rabies. As a result, many farmers believe that they are a danger to them and their animals, resulting in much hunting of Yellow mongooses. 
  • # 5.  Due to the diet, the Yellow mongoose may control the populations of insects, snakes, lizards etc. They also serve as prey for the birds of prey, snakes and jackals.

Q&A Corner

# 1.  Name two African countries that the Yellow mongoose can be found in?


# 2. What is the average mass of the Yellow mongoose?


# 3. What is the current population trend of the Yellow mongoose?


# 4. What does polygynous mean?


# 5.  What is the gestation period of the Yellow mongoose?


2 Replies to “Yellow mongoose”

  1. Hi there! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I truly enjoy reading your blog posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same subjects? Thank you!

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