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Welcome the Zoo's New Dwarf Mongooses

Dwarf mongooses

Posted July 2022

The Milwaukee County Zoo is excited to announce the arrival of three female dwarf mongooses now in their habitat in the Small Mammals building. It’s been one year since this species has been a part of the Zoo’s population.

The Small Mammals keepers have named the mongoose Dorothy, Rose, and Blanche, a nod to the popular television series “The Golden Girls.” The sisters arrived from Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago and were born in October of 2014.

Dwarf mongooseIn their exhibit on the “dayside” of the building, keepers describe their behavior as “very active,” and they’re showing just how “smart and determined” they are by interacting with food puzzles, climbing on propping in the habitat, and digging in the sand. Keepers have designed the habitat to include shelving of different heights, and other elevated structures so the animals can keep active and display their inquisitive nature. Keepers also say the mongoose are very vocal and that it’s nice to hear their “chirps and squeaks” again in the building!

Zookeepers began a training regimen with the mongooses which includes shifting from one area of the habitat to another and stepping on a scale to record their weights. Currently, they have an average weight of 400 grams. Their diet consists of raw meat, insects and fruits like apples and pears, and vegetables such as broccoli and carrots

Dwarf mongooseTrue to its name, the dwarf mongoose is the smallest mongoose, and the smallest African carnivore. It’s an extremely social and territorial animal, living in packs with as many as 32 mongooses. In the wild, mongooses are found from Somalia and Ethiopia to eastern South Africa and Namibia. They live in savanna, woodlands, brush country and mountain scrub. Dwarf mongooses are diurnal and begin and end each day sunbathing and socializing with the pack at their burrows.

You’ll find the mongoose sisters in the last habitat before going into the nightside of the Small Mammals building. Don’t miss the new residents and their very active and interesting habitat!