A tamed mongoose
Mongoose is a carnivorous animal which has a close resemblance with cats. The rivalry between mongoose and snake is famous. Because of this, humans prefer to domesticate them and keep as pets as a means of protection from deadly snakes.
The mongoose belongs to the Herpestidae family of Carnivora order, which is a biological relative of the cats, Felidae. From the seven identified species of mongoose, the Indian Grey Mongoose or Common Grey Mongoose (Herpestes edwardsii), the Ruddy Mongoose (Herpestes smithii) and the Stripe-necked Mongoose (Herpestes vitticollis) are commonly seen among the fauna of Kerala.
The Indian Common Mongooses are famed as the killers of poisonous snakes and which is the most popular genus. They are able to do this because of their cunningness and agility.
Mongooses feed upon insects, crabs, chicken, lizards, snakes and rodents. They have long faces and bodies with long tails. They live near streams, in thickets, hedges, scrub forests, fields and even in cities.
In India, snake charmers used to keep mongooses with them for performing fake fights with snakes. But these days, because of the application of animal protection laws these are not allowed.