A mongoose is any member of the Herpestidae family of small, cat-like carnivores. Mongooses are found in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and southern Europe. There are more than thirty species, ranging between one and four feet in length. Mongooses feed on insects, crabs, earthworms, lizards (including iguanas), and other small creatures (as well as eggs and sometimes fruits), but they are best known for their ability to fight and kill venomous snakes such as cobras (ophiophagy). They are able to do this because of their speed, agility and cunning.
Some species of mongoose can be easily domesticated and trained to fight. They are fairly intelligent and can be taught simple tricks, so they are often kept as pets to protect the home from vermin. However, they can be more destructive than desired; when imported into the West Indies for the purpose of killing rats, they destroyed most of the small, ground-based fauna. Because of this, it is illegal to import mongooses into the United States, Australia and other countries. Mongooses are widespread in Hawaii, and have had a significant impact on native species. Mongooses are sometimes refered to as "the most dangerous animals on the planet" for this reason.
pic taken at Singapore Zoo