Known to many people from Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, mongooses are small, catlike carnivores. There are more than 30 species of mongooses living in a variety of habitats in Asia, Africa, and southern Europe, as well as some Caribbean and Hawaiian islands, where they were introduced in the late 19th century to control rats and snakes and instead caused several bird species to go extinct.
Banded mongooses are 12 to 16 inches long with an eight-inch tail and weigh 3.5 to 5 pounds. They have coarse brownish gray fur with dark bands across the back.
Across sub-Saharan Africa, from Gambia to Ethiopia and south to South Africa
Grassland, brushland, woodland, and rocky country
Invertebrates, especially beetles and millipedes, and small vertebrates
After a two-month gestation, a banded mongoose gives birth to a litter of two or three young. A litter may be as large as six.
Banded mongooses live in groups of ten to 20 individuals, but may include as many as 40 individuals.