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Mongoose: Dwarf mongoose

Helogale parvula

IUCN Status
Classed as “least concern” as they occur in high densities across there range. They are also described as the most abundant small carnivore in areas of open woodland or wooded savannah.


Insects are most commonly eaten however they will eat small mammals, eggs and fruit occasionally.


Found in Ethiopia to Angola and eastern South Africa they inhabit savannah, woodlands, brush country and mountain scrub.


Group are made up of a dominate female and her mate who are first and second in command. Their youngest offspring are next in rank and therefore more dominant to the rest of the group but within the age ranges females are always more dominant. The dominant pair are the only ones to breed whilst the rest of the group help with babysitting and nursing the young.


The dominant female of the group often has three litters a year, usually between November and May. The average litter size is four and the young forage with the rest of the group at around six months old. They are not ready to mate until about three years old.

Fun Facts

The smallest species of the mongoose family. Africa’s smallest carnivore! Quick, curious and intelligent this species often seeks out hornbills to mutually feed and guard during the day!

At The Zoo

We have a trio of very elderly and sedate individuals who spend most of their time curled up asleep under their heat lamps in their environment (much like an elderly human in his favourite armchair in the warm). They come to life for their insect treats but soon retire to bliss of warmth and sleep!