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Elliot: Male, born June 30, 2003, at the Helsinki Zoo in Finland. He arrived from the Brookfield Zoo on January 18, 2011.
Diva: Female, born on September 15, 2010, at the Central Park Zoo in New York City. She arrived at the Philadelphia Zoo on February 13, 2013.
Elliot and Diva both live in Carnivore Kingdom as a breeding pair.
Buddy: Male, born June 10, 2013 at the Prospect Park Zoo in NYC. He arrived at the Philadelphia Zoo on October 16, 2014, and can be found in the Rare Animal Conservation Center.
You can find our breeding pair of dwarf mongoose (Elliot and Diva) in Carnivore Kingdom. They are usually terrestrial and can be located on the floor of their habitat. On occasion they will hop up onto the rocky ledges, showing off their great leaping and climbing abilities. We also have a pair of brothers located at the Rare Animal Conservation Center right next to our naked mole-rat colony.
Have a question about this animal?
Ask an expert on our Docent Council!
Mongoose utilize many vocalizations. Some are used to alert the pack of danger or signal time to move, others allow subadults to communicate with young. The vocalizations sound like: tinkling, trilling, vibrating, chirrups and "twitters".
The oldest female is the only one that will produce offspring. The gestation period for a dwarf mongoose is 50-54 days. She may produce 1-6 in a litter and may give birth 3-4 times per year. Once they are born the mother only comes back to nurse the young. Subordinate males and females act as "babysitters" to the young, assuming primary responsibility for raising the young. Youngsters usually emerge from the den site after 3 weeks.
Mongoose have a "mammal-bird mutualism" with hornbills. Hornbills will follow after mongoose packs while they forage each day. As the mongoose travel through their range they are disturbing insects, which the hornbills then consume. In return for the meals that the mongoose provide to the birds, hornbills will alert the pack of predators so the mongoose can all run to protected areas.
Tip of nose to top of tail: 7-11 inches (18-28 centimeters). Tail length is: 5.5-7.5 inches (14-19 centimeters).
7-12 ounces (210-350 grams)
Dwarf mongoose prey mainly on insects and small vertebrates, but they will also eat berries. At the Zoo, their diet includes cat food, insects and a variety protein including hard boiled eggs, mouse pups and beef ribs. Occasionally fruit and berries are offered – but they are not a favorite. The diet is formulated to meet the nutritional needs of each individual animal and to promote normal feeding behaviors.
Dwarf mongoose inhabit savannas, open woodlands, thickets and rocky crevices. Habitat choice is dependent on the availability of termite mounds for refuge and denning. They range through most areas of Africa including, but not limited to, Uganda, Zambia, Namibia, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya and Botswana.
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