Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mongoose - One of Hawaii's Big Failures

This animal often creates a lot of confusion for visitors to Hawaii. What is it? Is it a weasel, a ferret, a possum, a weird looking squirrel? It’s a mongoose, like the famous mongoose Rikki Tikki Tavi that Rudyard Kipling wrote about in India. The mongoose is one of those introduced species that someone thought would be a good way to control the rat population. Maybe the rats were getting into the sugar cane mill and eating everything.

The mongoose can often be spotted outside beach trash cans around sunset.
Two words: Epic Fail.  Since rats are nocturnal and mongooses are diurnal, the two animals never met.

Some facts about mongooses:
The plural of mongoose is mongooses, technically. Though I have heard them called mongeese and mongoosi and everything in between. It's a dilemma, which is addressed in this entertaining read on the plural of mongoose.

Find the mongoose. They know how to camouflage themselves.
Mongooses like chicken eggs, and other kinds of bird eggs. The problem is that some native shore birds lay their eggs on the ground and the mongoose will eat them. This is very bad for the native bird population.

Mongooses were not brought to the island of Kauai. This is why Kauai is inundated with wild chickens. Chickens everywhere. At the post office parking lot. At the Walmart, at the golf course parking, crossing the road, crossing the road again. In case you wanted to make a different joke about why did the chicken cross the road. Maui also has a sizable wild chicken population which helps support a large mongoose population.

Not a fact, but an observation. Mongooses can move very quickly. They seem to be very intelligent and are quick at crossing the road. Much faster than chickens. 

P.S. If you are blog hopping from the A to Z challenge, please include your link if you comment! I try to reciprocate comments as quickly as I can, though I did lag behind last year, especially towards the end.

P.P.S. I am running two mini-contests during the A-Z Challenge (and into part of May). Here's how to enter


  1. such a pity they were introduced to Hawaii Courtney. This was an interesting read and a reminder of how quickly Nature gets unbalanced.

    Garden of Eden Blog

  2. It's funny that you mention Rikki Tikki Tavi! My dog just got her "summer cut," so she has this big hair, big ear thing going on that's really cute. But when she pops her head up, I always think of that cartoon mongoose!

  3. Following from Blogging AtoZ.

    I'm writing "Things My Husband Has Broken" A to Z at http://AMomsPointOfView.com

    Come by and check it out.

  4. What a frustrating situation! One can hardly blame the mongoose. It's humans to blame, but it's the mongooses that we need to eradicate. Ugh! :(

    ~Tui Snider~
    @TuiSnider on Twitter
    My blog: Tui Snider's Offbeat & Overlooked Travel
    I am also part of the #StoryDam team, a friendly writing community!

  5. What a tough little creature! I'm an A to Z minion/helper sauntering through the 'net and checking blogs. Your blog looks wonderful.

  6. Aloha Helen, Would love to know the link to your blog!

  7. Yes, us humans cause a lot of mischief!

  8. Will do. Finally catching up to comments today.

  9. Share a pic if you have one of your dog!

  10. I think it happens in many parts of the world - things like this.

  11. just click on my name and it will go to my blog.

  12. Thank you for this. Today at makena beach I saw a family of what I thought were ferrets and got completely confused.


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