Kyalami’s newest resident

KYALAMI – Anton van Niekerk of the Greater Kyalami Conservancy (Gekco) writes about the newest resident in Kyalami, a yellow mongoose.

September 6, 2019 | Content Provided

This slender mongoose was seen in the area about six months before the yellow mongoose. Photo: Supplied

Kyalami Agricultural Holdings Ridge has a brand new, and somewhat hairy resident – a yellow mongoose has been spotted living in the area.

Anton van Niekerk, the secretary for the Greater Kyalami Conservancy (Gekco), has been sharing updates about the creature on the Gekco and Kyalami Neighbourhood Facebook pages and has managed to take multiple photos and videos of the mongoose. The area is natural bushveld and is a haven for wildlife with African hedgehog, large spotted genet and slender and yellow mongoose either resident or regular visitors. Also recorded in the area is 107 species of birds.

“In the last few months, a yellow mongoose was seen actively foraging,” said Van Niekerk. “An old den site in a crevice in a pile of bricks, was where the mongoose was suspected of staying. A camera trap – a motion-activated camera – was set up facing the opening. The yellow mongoose was seen using the site.”

The yellow mongoose that has been spotted in the Kyalami area.  Photo: Anton van Niekerk

Unfortunately, he wasn’t the only one – a slender mongoose, which had been active on the property for about six months, then also visited the den site.

“The slender mongoose was seen marking the territory and after that, the yellow mongoose was not observed at the site again. A few days later, the yellow mongoose was spotted on a soil mound that rabbits had made warren holes in. It utilised the highest one as a den. The camera revealed it snoozing and utilising the high point to spot prey and predators.”

This yellow mongoose found another place to live, eventually taking over a rabbit’s warren. Photo: Anton van Niekerk

Van Niekerk said the mongoose roamed between the adjoining plots freely and used the den each night. They have bred on the property before and there were no free-roaming cats and dogs, so the mongoose was safe from being chased and harmed by them.

There are some differences between the yellow and the slender mongoose, including their colouring and head shape. Photo: Anton van Niekerk

A slender mongoose is more red in colour and has a black tip to its tail. Its face and body are very slender and blend almost seamlessly together. The yellow mongoose, as the name implies, is more yellow in colour, has a more shaggy pelt and the head is more like a fox in shape.