Dwarf mongoose

Helogale parvula

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

Our pair of dwarf mongoose live opposite our cotton-top tamarins, behind our meerkats.

Dwarf mongoose are small carnivores found in woodland, savannah and scrub across eastern and southern Africa, from Ethiopia to Namibia.

They mostly eat insects and other invertebrates, but they have been found to eat small rodents, reptiles, eggs and fruit.

Interesting facts!

  • As the name suggests, dwarf mongoose are the smallest carnivore in Africa, measuring around 18–26cm long.
  • Dwarf mongoose have some unusual friends… they have a mutualistic relationship with hornbills in which they forage together and alert each other of danger by sounding alarm calls.
  • They live in matriarchal societies, with the highest-ranking mongoose in a pack often being a dominant female, who will be in a monogamous partnership with the second-in-command.


Dwarf mongoose currently face no major threats and are common across their range, which is why they are listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.