Is the Mongoose a Goose?

The creature called the mongoose isn’t a goose, but a mammal that looks something like a mink or weasel. The animal, a native of India, gets it confusing name from an Indian word that sounds like “mongoose.”

Although only about two feet long when fully grown, and gentle enough to serve as a pet in India, the mongoose is the only animal that regularly takes on the deadly cobra snake, and usually wins!

The cobra is four times the size of a mongoose, and one bite from the snake’s poisonous fangs will kill a grown man in minutes. But the fearless mongoose threatens the cobra and waits for the snake to strike back.

When the cobra lunges toward its enemy with its fangs exposed, the mongoose is quick enough to dodge the attack. Again the snake lunges, and again the mongoose dodges the fangs. Finally, the snake begins to tire.

It lunges again, but this time its movements are slow, and the mongoose strikes back, dodging the snake’s fangs and leaping at its head. The mongoose digs its teeth into the back of the cobra’s head and holds on until the snake is dead. Then the little mongoose enjoys a meal of cobra.

The mongoose eats even the snake’s venom glands!

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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