The Crazy True Story of a Mongoose Who Saved a Friend From An Eagle


Every day, we hear new stories that certainly put the “wild” back in “wildlife.” Because nature is dictated by food chains, it’s not uncommon to see a larger predator swooping down on smaller prey. What is uncommon, though, is seeing the smaller prey managing to fight back!

That happened recently in the Mjejane Game Reserve in South Africa. Witnesses saw an eagle make an attack on some mongooses, eventually gathering one in its greedy beak. Rather than leave their friend to die, though, the mongooses fought back in a scene more gripping than any blockbuster film.

What do we know about the eagle that made the attack, and what was the shocking conclusion to this fight between predator and prey? Keep reading to find out!

A game reserve guide with the story of a lifetime

Wild encounters happen between different animals every day. And we wouldn’t know about this epic showdown between mongoose and eagle if Ankia Pusey had not shared her story.

Pusey works as a guide at the Mjejane Game Reserve in South Africa, and her job is to safely guide visitors through while they soak up the sights and occasionally hunt game. But neither Pusey nor her guests were expecting the sight of a Martial Eagle getting ready to make its attack!

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Meet the Martial Eagle

When Pusey and her guests first saw the Martial Eagle, they noticed right away that it was a juvenile. But they were confused to see it sitting on a tiny shrub, and they couldn’t help but wonder what brought the bird so uncharacteristically low to the ground.

It turns out the Martial Eagle was keeping his eye on the grass. The shadows on the grass as well as a cry in the air indicated the presence of mongooses, and this bird of prey was getting ready to make his attack on one of them. And considering that these majestic birds can have a wingspan of up to 2.6 meters, the only logical conclusion at this point is that the mongooses didn’t have a chance against the creature who was so carefully stalking them.

A sudden and merciless attack

When the Martial Eagle decided to strike, he moved with almost blinding speed. He had a mongoose in his sight and he swooped down to grab it. And if the attacking bird had slightly better aim, then the little creature would have been doomed.

Luckily for the mongoose, the eagle failed to capture its prey on the first fly-by. He returned to his perch and tried again, but he came up empty once more. Perhaps out of frustration, the Marital Eagle abandoned his hunting perch and got on the ground, where he could be face-to-face with his intended snack.

To those witnessing these events, it looked like the target mongoose had finally run out of luck. But what nobody expected was that another mongoose was going to enter the fight!

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The brave mongoose makes his stand

Because mongooses don’t like to get eaten, there is no love lost between them and the Martial Eagles who hunt them down. And one little mongoose had apparently had enough of these attacks, as he came out of nowhere and tried to bite the eagle’s face.

It was a good plan on paper, but the eagle ended up having better reflexes than the mongoose expected. He caught the mongoose in midair, and it looked like he was going to escape with a tasty snack after all.

That was when a crazy day got even crazier: perhaps inspired by their friend’s earlier bravery, the remaining mongooses decided to attack the bird and save their buddy.

Literally grasping victory from the jaws of defeat

If the Martial Eagle had made it into the air with his prize, there would be no hope for the mongooses. Fortunately, they moved quickly: the group of them was able to attack the eagle before he could lift off. And like their brave friend, each of these little creatures did its best to bite, scratch, and generally cause as much damage to the eagle as possible.

While even a group of mongooses had no real hope of killing the eagle, their attack accomplished its actual goal. After determining that all of this effort wasn’t worth it, the eagle dropped the brave mongoose from his mouth, and the little creature successfully scurried for safety.

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Taking the fight back to the eagle

If the story had ended there, it would already have been impressive enough. However, it gets even crazier: the mongooses decided they never wanted to see this eagle again. So when the Martial Eagle tried to hop up on a nearby, the mongooses began to climb the perch and renew their attack on their large foe!

Ultimately, they were successful in driving the bird away for good. And that’s the incredible true story of how a group of mongooses decided to risk everything to save their friend from a brutal and merciless attack.