A family of mongooses is forced to stand up and fight off Africa’s largest eagle in mid-air as it flies off with one of their friends.
Ankia Pusey, a guide in the Mjejane Game Reserve, shared her story and images
“It was a splendid morning, the light streaming down beautifully as I guided my guests on their morning game drive.”
“We came upon an unusual sight: a juvenile Martial eagle, perched rather low on a small shrub. This was odd, as these eagles don’t normally sit that low without reason.”
The Martial Eagle is one of the biggest eagles in the world, with a wingspan of up to 2.6 meters! These eagles hunt during the day and can eat a variety of animals like monkeys, rabbits, mongooses, and even other birds.
“Suddenly, the eagle’s focus turned downward. It was staring intently at the grass under the shrub. We heard a sound—the alarm calls of banded mongooses.”
“Only then did we notice their tiny shadows moving in the grass. That’s when I realized what was happening—the eagle was hunting!”
An amazing display of loyalty as a mongoose attempts to rescue his friend that is caught by an eagle!
“In an instant, the eagle swooped down, talons out; it attacked the mongoose. But the eagle missed its chance. Unperturbed, the eagle returned to the shrub, waiting for another opportunity.”
“Sure enough, it tried once more to catch a mongoose, but again, it was unsuccessful. This time, though, the eagle found itself on the ground.”
“One brave mongoose, clearly unhappy with the eagle’s presence, charged out of the grass. Fearlessly, it ran towards the eagle and jumped, aiming to bite the eagle’s face. The eagle fought back, managing to catch the mongoose midair.”
“Just as the eagle was lifting off, the rest of the mongooses rushed towards it, trying to rescue their sibling. They jumped and ran, trying to bite and scratch the eagle. Finally, the eagle lost its grip, and the little mongoose that was caught managed to escape.”
“The mongooses were not done yet. They pursued the eagle until it settled on a nearby shrub. Then, they began climbing the stump, attempting to bite the eagle and chase it out of their territory.”
Success as mongoose rescues friend from eagle mid-flight!
“My guests and I watched in awe. It was an extraordinary display of courage and teamwork by the family of mongooses, defending their family against a Martial eagle. Witnessing such incredible behavior in nature is a rare gift. It was a morning we would never forget.”