Common cusimanse

Crossarchus obscurus

Cusimanse 1
IUCN Conservation Status –
Least Concern
Extinct In The Wild
Class: Mammals
Order: Carnivora
Family: Herpestidae

We are home to a male cusimanse, who arrived from Paignton Zoo back in August 2020 into our newly redeveloped cusimanse exhibit.

A member of the mongoose family, they are originally found in west Africa.

Cusimanse will use their long slender snout and claws to forage for prey on the forest floor. They will normally feed on a wide variety of vertebrates and invertebrates including earthworms, spiders, grasshoppers, frogs, birds and snakes. However they do also eat fruit and berries.

Interesting facts!

  • Cusimanse will communicate with one another using sounds through chirps, barks and growls due to their poor visibility.
  • They live a nomadic life and will often move from one location to another to find food and avoid predators. If the group have young, adult members of the group will often carry them on their backs as they are unable to keep up.
  • Only the primary members of the family group are allowed to breed. Females can have up to three litters per year with 2-4 pups per litter.


Cusimanse are classified as Least Concern. They have a very widespread population throughout their range and have no major threats in the wild apart from their natural predators.