Belfast Zoo welcomes yellow mongoose siblings - Rikki-Tikki and Tavi
Belfast Zoo has said it is "delighted" to welcome a brother and sister pair of yellow mongoose.
The new arrivals - named Rikki-Tikki and Tavi - came from Bristol Zoo a few months ago and visitors can meet the pair at their newly built enclosure at the Cave Hill site.
Senior keeper, Allan Galway, said: “They were quite nervous at first but are starting to settle in and explore their surroundings.
"We have named the new arrivals after the famous short story in Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book about an adventurous mongoose."
In the wild, these mammals can be found in scrub desert and arid grassland throughout Africa including Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, South Africa and Angola.
Yellow mongoose live in burrows which they often share with other small mammals such as ground squirrels and meerkats.
Zoo manager, Alyn Cairns, said: "This is the first time that we have cared for yellow mongoose at Belfast Zoo. We are excited to learn more about the species and we hope to form a breeding group in the future."
He continued: "When we were developing the new reptile and amphibian house, we identified the opportunity to develop an area beside it for a new mammal species.
"We subsequently decided to build an area for mongoose due to the educational links between these small carnivores that are natural predators to a number of African snakes, even some venomous species."
Belfast Telegraph Digital