Watch Out

The Egyptian Mongoose or Ichneumon (Herpestes ichneumon) is the only species of mongoose occurring in Europe. Its wide spread distribution area reaches from central Africa to Northern Africa and along the Mediterranean Sea coastline north to southern Turkey. It is also native on the Iberian Peninsula. I could photograph this very shy animal in Spain. There are several hypotheses about the occurence in the Iberian Peninsula. First the scientists said that they followed the Muslim invasion in the 8th century, but bones of this mammal found in Spain were dated by radiocarbon method to the first century so that they probably were introduced during Roman Hispania period. Others advance a view that the colonisation was naturally across a land bridge during pleistocene. The Ichneumon feeds on rodents, reptiles and amphibians, but also insects and some fruits. Like most mongooses it is resistant against the venom of snakes. Mostly they move across dense vegetation and it was a highlight for me seeing this individual coming up on the rock. Because of its dark face it could be a female.

Image Details:

Date: April  25th, 2019
Location: Spain
Camera: Canon EOS 5D III
Focal Length: 500 mm
Aperture: f 5
Exposure: 1/2000 sec.
ISO: 1000

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