David vs. Goliath: Watch This Underdog Mongoose Beat a Cobra in an Epic Battle

Written by Sharon Parry
Updated: June 14, 2023
© Rajeev Amaratunga/Shutterstock.com
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Is there no end to this mongoose’s bravery? The ferocious little animal is quite happy to take on a large venomous snake and appears to be winning the battle. With the help of some deft combat moves including what looks like a crocodile roll, the mongoose wins the day. Scroll down to watch the full video of this extraordinary encounter.

What Exactly Is a Mongoose?

A mongoose is not a single species. There are nearly three dozen species of animals that are commonly described as mongooses. They are all in the Herpestidae family and within this there are two subfamilies. The Herpestinae subfamily includes the Indian grey mongoose (U. edwardsii).  

To make things even more complicated, the most well-known mongoose species is S. suricatta which we all call a meerkat!

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Where Do Mongooses Live?

Each individual species can have quite a limited distribution but as a whole, mongooses have quite a broad range. They are mainly found in Africa but are also found in southern parts of Asia and southern parts of Europe.

Unfortunately, they are an invasive species in other parts of the world. For example, they were introduced into Hawaii in 1883 to control the rat population around sugarcane fields. This move was misguided and has damaged local ecosystems. Whilst the mongooses have killed some rodents, they also ate birds, insects and other small mammals.   

mongoose
There are nearly three dozen species of animals that are commonly described as mongooses

©markusmayer/Shutterstock.com

What Do Mongooses Normally Eat?

Mongooses are opportunistic feeders. Depending on where they live, their diet can be made up of small mammals, birds, reptiles, plants or fruit. Indian mongooses that were introduced to Jamaica have been blamed for the extinction of some ground-nesting bird species. Others introduced into Hawaii are endangering the Hawaiian crow and several other bird species.

Why Do Mongooses Attack Venomous Snakes?

Because they can! Mongooses are extremely quick and agile as you can see in this clip. They just don’t stay still long enough for a snake to aim their strike. Also, these mammals have thick fur which offers some protection from a snake bite. However, we now know that some mongoose species have a particular type of biochemical makeup that renders them almost immune to snake venom. The snake α-neurotoxin is not able to bind to the usual receptors in their body and therefore cannot take effect. No wonder this guy is so brave!

Watch the Incredible Footage Below!


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About the Author

Sharon has a Ph.D. in Public Health but has spent the last decade researching and writing about all things connected with animal health and well being. As a life-long animal lover, she now shares her family home with three rabbits, a Syrian hamster, and a very energetic Cocker Spaniel but in the past she has also been a Mom to Guinea Pigs and several cats!She has a passion for researching accurate and credible information about pets and reviewing products that make pet owners' lives a bit easier. When she isn't checking out new pet products she's trekking around the Welsh mountains and beaches with her dog - although she lets her husband and her three grown up daughters tag along sometimes if they are lucky!

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