During a recent visit to De Hoop Nature Reserve we witnessed something unexpected, a yellow mongoose eating a hare!
De Hoop Nature Reserve
De Hoop Nature Reserve lies in the Overberg Region of Western Cape and is located +- 3 hours from Cape Town.
It is a World Heritage Site which caters for hikers, cyclists, whale watchers and bird watchers alike!
As an avid photographer I was keen to hike up to the “new” Vulture Deck at Potberg. The goal was to photograph the vultures swooping and soaring above us.
Anyone who visits De Hoop knows about the +- 50km’s of gravel road between Bredasdorp and the Reserve. It was along this road, shortly before De Hoop turnoff, that something in the road caught my eye. As we slowly approached I realised it was a dead hare that I assume was hit by a car.
Pulling over I decided to wait to see if any vultures might come and feed on it as we were close to the resident colony at Potberg.
With camera in hand I waited for the first vulture to swoop down, little did I know that I should have focussed on the ground instead.
All of a sudden a yellow mongoose popped up out of a ditch, clearly on high alert and nervous about venturing into the road.
After a short while curiosity got the better of him and he slowly made his way towards the carcass. This behaviour was strange as I thought their diet consisted of insects, snakes etc. but later learnt that they do indeed eat carrion.
The mongoose cautiously sniffed the carcass before taking a few small bites from the soft underbelly of the hare. I believe he also had the vultures in mind as he frequently looked skywards for any sign of danger.
The mongoose showed incredible persistence as he was finding himself having to scamper for shelter each time a car came along.
Getting frustrated he tried in vain to drag the hare off the road and into the ditch.
It is at this point we decided to continue our journey towards the Vulture deck at Potberg, stay tuned for that blog post!
Till next time…