December 19, 2014
- as seen by -Margaret Kinnaird @Mpala Research Centrehttp://MpalaResearchCentre
Early morning squeaking and twittering noises tell me that my resident family of dwarf mongooses is already up and greeting the day. For this highly social and cooperative species, that frequently means playing king-of-the-hill on the rocks just off my front porch.
Dwarf mongooses generally den in termite mounds, but this family of nearly 30 has taken up residence in the hollows under my veranda. I often catch them peeking between the rocks on the surface – exposing only a row of little heads.
Their underground system became so extensive last year that when an elephant took a short cut across my yard, an entire side of the mongoose quarters caved in requiring me to refill and reseal the space.
After a temporary relocation, the mongoose family returned to my porch, only to pick away the new bits of cement and rock and excavate the new fill to their liking.
I welcome their company, and I hope the elephants find a different crossing!