Yellow Mongoose * Geelmuishond, Witkwasmuishond, Rooimeerkat * Cynictis Penicillata

The yellow mongoose is a carnivore, feeding mostly on termites, grasshoppers and crickets, but also on rodents and small birds. In urban environments in South Africa, it also forages among human food garbage.

The yellow mongoose (Cynictis penicillata), sometimes referred to as the red meerkat, is a member of the mongoose family. It averages about 0.45 kg (1 lb).

By Yathin S Krishnappa - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
Southern yellow mongooses are larger, have yellow or reddish fur, longer fur, and a longer tail with a characteristic white tip. Northern subspecies tend towards smaller size, grey colouration, a grey or darker grey tip to the tail, and shorter hair more appropriate to the hotter climate.

The yellow mongoose is primarily diurnal, though nocturnal activity has been observed. Living in colonies of up to 20 individuals in a permanent burrow complex, the yellow mongoose will often co-exist with Cape ground squirrels or suricates and share maintenance of the warren, adding new tunnels and burrows as necessary. The tunnel system has many entrances, nearby which the yellow mongoose makes its latrines.

Predators of the yellow mongoose are birds of prey, snakes and jackals. When frightened, the yellow mongoose will growl and secrete from its anal glands. It can also scream, bark, and purr, though these are exceptions, as the yellow mongoose is usually silent.

Called the "rooimeerkat" or "witkwasmuishond" in Afrikaans.