There’s a Mongoose in my Ear!

Banded Mongoose pup
A selfie with Mr. Mongoo, a Banded Mongoose pup

Mr. Mongoo aka Goosie is a rescued Banded Mongoose pup. Found at about two weeks old, this huggable lovable mongoose is a handful. Louise, our neighbor, is the one who found him.  I’ve since learned that during the rainy season, a baby mongoose can unfortunately be easily abandoned. If the band’s den (for instance, a low-lying termite mound) gets flooded, they run for their lives. Sometimes the babies haven’t latched onto anyone and are left behind. And sometimes a baby is simply rejected.

Enter Mr. Mongoo

Barely three weeks after we last babysat this Banded Mongoose pup (must-see photos here), he was back wreaking havoc in his adorable and wild mongoose fashion. He learned that peeing on my flipflop felt akin to going outside in the dirt but without having to actually go outside, and that the floor beneath the dining table offered a private pooping palace. Still, he uses his box when we’re around to direct him. He graciously brought one of his kills, a large grasshopper over to me and proceeded to eat it while sitting on my foot. He nods off on my foot or just hangs out there as well.

Now he ventures outside, assuming he is accompanied by an adult, but he won’t stay out  without someone present. I’m thinking he thinks he’s human. He is completely acclimated to humans and in many ways acts like a dog – coming when called and playing with toys.

Twice Louise tried to introduce him to a band of mongoose that came rolling through her yard, but Mr. Mongoo was not ready. He ran screaming back into the house. He could be attacked or killed if he enters a band and is not ready to be a full-fledged member.

Banded Mongoose pup
Louise and her silly buddy

Banded Mongoose pup

I think he’s slowly readying himself. He spends hours outside foraging for insects and has done quite a good job clearing bugs out of the house (on the inside) as well. It’s so curious to watch his instinctual behaviors given that he hasn’t had formal mongoose training. He takes all small, round objects (stones, balls of dirt) and hikes them between his legs against a hard object just as a mongoose would do when finding and trying to break an egg.

Hopefully it’s not too late for Mr. Mongoo to make it safely back to the wild and be with his own kind. If it is, I know Louise is committed to caring for him. I don’t advocate taking an animal from the wild to make him a pet. Animals in the wild belong in the wild.   An article from the ASPCA discusses the issues, but mostly, it’s simply not good or kind or healthy for the animal. BUT if there is no other way to safely get Mr. Mongoo back to his people, he has a human home. The average mongoose lives about 20 years, so Louise and her husband better start their college fund for Mr. Mongoo now.

Some selfies with Mr. Mongoo – clearly I need to polish my selfie-taking skills.

Banded Mongoose pup
Mongooses can make a lot of faces!
He chirps and purrs and chuckles in my ear!
Teeth flosser
Pouty face
Banded Mongoose pup
I am guaranteed a lot of giggling with this little guy around.

Banded Mongoose pup
He likes to hang out on shoulders. I suspect it’s the “human’s eye” view he enjoys.

Banded Mongoose pup

Must-see Videos of Mr. Mongoo
Throughout you’ll hear chirping sounds. That’s Mr. Mongoo not some random bird outside despite the fact we hear birds chirping all day long!

Mr. Mongoo Gets Busy
He is a very busy mongoose. Enjoy this 5-minute video of his nonstop activities.

Mr. Mongoo Gets Hungry
Okay, this is outrageously cute. Besides the insects Mr. Mongoo collects, Louise prepared some food for Mr. Mongoo as well. Listen to the sounds this little guy makes on the 1-minute video.

Mr. Mongoo Gets Sleepy
This 2.5-minute video shows Mr. Mongoo in various stages of sleepiness. It begins with him on my foot – nodding off!

Silly Mongoose

Never before in my life did I expect to love a mongoose so.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It is the hardest thing in the world to frighten a mongoose, because he is eaten up from nose to tail with curiosity. The motto of all the mongoose family is “Run and find out,” and Rikki-tikki-tavi was a true mongoose. He was a restless companion, because he had to get up and attend to every noise all through the night and find out what made it.
~Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Check out the other South Africa posts below:

South Africa Post #1: Our first Kruger National Park Safari
South Africa Post #2: Babysitting a Banded Mongoose Pup in Marloth Park
South Africa Post #3: When Zebras Visit
South Africa Post #4: Daily Living in Marloth Park, South Africa
South Africa Post #5: Kruger Restcamps: Skukuza, Satara and Olifants
South Africa Post #6: Kruger Safari: Full Moon over Letaba
South Africa Post #7: Kruger Safari: Treasure Hunting in Tamboti and Lower Sabie
This is South Africa Post #8: There’s a Mongoose in my Ear!
South Africa Post #9: Peering through God’s Window at Blyde River Canyon
South Africa Post #10: The Dam Boat Tour at Blyde River Canyon
South Africa Post #11: Rare Sexual Encounters of South Africa
South Africa Post #12: To the Wildlife of Marloth Park
South Africa Post #13: Nelspruit to Cape Town
South Africa Post #14: Moved to Tears on Freedom Day
South Africa Post #15: Penguins in South Africa?
South Africa Post #16: The Southernmost Tip of Africa
South Africa Post #17Birds of Eden at Plettenberg Bay
South Africa Post #18: Dear South Africa: I love you, but…
South Africa Post #19: Elephants at Addo National Park 
South Africa Post #20The Garden Route: Nature’s Valley and Wilderness
South Africa Post #21: Endangered Bontebok
South Africa Post #22: Top Five Cape Town Experiences
South Africa Post #23: Chasing Rainbows in South Africa
South Africa Post #24: Vegan Wanderlust in South Africa
South Africa Post #25: Ubuntu

Photos, videos and stuff*** Please contact me for permission to use images and text for commercial or private use. And please do follow this blog and/or write comments. A million and seventy-six thanks.

Thanks for reading, and if you ever find a mongoose in your ear, I hope he’s as curious and silly and lovable as Mr. Mongoo.

26 Comments

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