Yellow mongooses Visit our meerkats' cousins in Twilight World
Type mammal
Size 22-33cm
Weight 450-600g
Diet carnivore

Yellow mongoose

Cynictis penicillata
  • Summary

    The yellow mongoose is a small mammal from Africa. Whilst its name is derived from its yellow coloured coat, colour actually varies from yellow to grey among subspecies.

    A territorial species, the yellow mongoose uses different forms of scent-marking to define its territory. To communicate with others it tends to use tail movements, but will be vocal when angered, scared or playful.

    Offspring reach adult size after 10 months and live to around 12-13 years. 

  • Dietary

    The yellow mongoose is a carnivore. A natural forager, small insects make up the majority of its diet but it will occasionally eat small rodents, reptiles and birds too. In the wild the yellow mongoose would bring these large prey items to the burrow for its young.

    It is equipped with strong claws for digging and catching food.


  • Habitat

    In the wild, these mammals can be found in scrub desert and arid grassland throughout Africa. They live in burrows, which are often shared with other small mammals such as squirrels and meerkats. 

    species range map

  • Conservation

    The yellow mongoose is currently listed as Least Concern with a relatively stable population.

    Red List Status Least Concern

    Red List Status Least Concern

    IUCN Red List species link

  • Did you know...

    Our yellow mongooses are trained to sit on scales & go into boxes for food. It is important to be able to move them easily and stress-free, for example when they need to visit our vets for a check up.

    Yellow mongooses are very clever animals, who learn very quickly.

  • Where to find us at Bristol Zoo

    You can find our yellow mongoose inside Twilight World, just off the Top Terrace

    Bristol Zoo Gardens map with Twilight World


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