The yellow mongoose, Cynictis penicillata, moves around in daylight, usually early in the morning. Its diet is mainly insects but balancing adds the occasional mouse, frog or lizard and some eggs, while fruit will do in season and when the mice are too alert.
Yellow to rust-brown with white tail-tip, some northerly region animals may tend towards grey, losing the white on the tail. Some Afrikaans common names indicate this uncertainty regarding the colouring of its coat: rooimeerkat (red meerkat), geelmuishond (yellow mongoose) and witkwasmuishond (white brush mongoose) all persist, maybe regionally.
The yellow mongoose prefers open plains from Namibia and Botswana to the southern coast. Desert, highveld grassland and karoid, arid scrubland are all included among the habitats mastered by the species. This wide-eyed one was seen during March in Addo.
It may sleep sheltered under grass or shrubs, more likely lives underground in a warren housing just a pair or a colony of twelve, occasionally up to twenty. The colony is organised in a hierarchy, the young put through their paces by the experienced while they grow strong and their elders age. Abandoned springhare, aardvark, ground squirrel or meerkat holes are used, failing which they dig their own burrow system.
The alpha male marks the territory, usually early in the morning by urinating or defecating, the alpha female sometimes participating; there is usually a midden present near the warren. Foreign males are not permitted but wandering females may receive instant visas.
All females participate in breeding; mating activities last for two days and gestation sixty days when two to five young are born, suckled for up to eight weeks. All adults will contribute to raising the young and collecting food.
Sexually mature by one year, the male sometimes a little earlier, the yellow mongoose lives for about twelve years (Riëtte, 2016).