Q:

What is a mongoose's natural enemies?

A:

The natural enemies of mongooses are snakes, hawks, jackals and storks. While mongooses are known for their fearless attacks on snakes, particularly cobras, they are not immune to their venom. Jackals, hawks and other raptors are enemies that share the mongoose's habitat. Marabou storks are opportunistic and take a mongoose pup, if they are given the opportunity.

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Mongooses are primarily found in Africa. Their range covers most of the continent. In addition, they are found in Asia and parts of Europe. Mongooses were introduced to the Caribbean and Hawaiian islands in the 19th century as a method of controlling the rodent population control on sugar cane plantations, according to National Geographic. However, the descendants of those mongooses now threaten the survival of various native species, particularly birds, on these islands.

Mongooses are generally terrestrial mammals, but some are semi-aquatic and others live in treetops. The mongoose is an omnivore, eating insects, crabs, earthworms, lizards, snakes, birds and rodents. There are over 30 species. Mongooses are sometimes considered immune to snake venom because they have receptors that make it nearly impossible for neurotoxin snake venom to attach to them. Research continues to determine if they have a similar protection from hemotoxic snake venom.

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