Grey Mongoose (Nevlaa)

The grey mongoose in Pakistan is a mongoose species and in local languages it is called Nevlaa. In Pakistan, the grey mongoose is commonly found in forests, open lands and cultivated fields in almost all regions of the country. It lives in burrows, hedgerows and thickets, among groves of trees, under rocks or bushes and even in drains.

It preys on rodents, snakes, birds’ eggs and hatch-lings, lizards and variety of invertebrates. The body length of an adult grey mongoose is 14-17 inches and tail length is 17 inches, weighing 0.9-1.7 kg. Males are significantly larger than the females. The grey mongooses are unusual in that they can discriminate four colors, more than most other mammals. The tail is bushy, whilst the tip of the tail, if colored, is pale yellow or white.

grey mongoose in pakistan
Grey mongoose near Rawal Dam Lake, Islamabad

The most of its diet is made up from mice, rats, lizards, snakes, and beetles etc. It also eats ground birds, their eggs, grasshoppers, scorpions, centipedes, frogs, crabs, fish, and parts of plants. It kills prey by delivering a bite to the neck or head.

This species is known for its ability to combat venomous snakes. It primarily achieves this through tiring the snake out, by enticing it to make multiple strikes which it acrobatically avoids. Secondary protection against the venomous bite includes the stiff rigid hair, which is excited at such times, the thick loose skin and specialized acetylcholine receptors render it resistant or immune to snake venom.