Sri Lanka has four species of Mongoose found on the island. The ruddy, grey, brown, and the king of them all the stripe-necked mongoose.
A beautifully colored animal with long flowing golden coat and the distinctive black stripe which gives its name, this is the largest of the mongoose species in Sri Lanka, and truly the most beautiful.
Stripe-Necked Mongoose are the largest mongoose species in Asia. They have a body length between 43 and 53 cms (17 – 20.8 inches), a tail length between 30 and 32 cms (11.8 – 12.6 inches) and they weigh between 1.3 and 2.7 kgs (2.9 – 6 lbs). They have a stout build and short legs.
Being excellent predators, they feed on a vast array of prey which includes, rodents, frogs, freshwater crabs, hares, spotted chevrotain or mouse deer, birds and reptiles which includes snakes.
In Sri Lanka, they are sparsely found within protected ranges such as national parks and sanctuaries, and the best places to observe them would be Yala National Park in the dry zones of the deep South or in the high-altitude cloud forests of Horton Plains National Park.
When photographing this fast-moving mammal, the best course of action is to remain patient and still, especially while on your safari vehicle. Once the mongoose gets accustomed the vehicles presence they usually continue to go about their usual behavior, and good close encounters are possible. Going on safari in Sri Lanka does not mean targeting only leopards or the larger species like Sloth Bear and Elephant, but also appreciating and cherishing the little things one might find, and though the Stripe Necked Mongoose also known as the Badger Mongoose is not large, it more than makes up for its size in tenacity and personality.