Yellow mongoose are similar to ground squirrels in appearance but have much thinner tails and longer bodies.
When they scurry away, their white tipped-tails trail straight out behind them. They often move in to ground-squirrel burrows, once the residents have vacated, and prey primarily on mice supplemented by insects and reptiles.
They live in colonies of up to 20 individuals and prefer semi-desert scrubland and grasslands, avoiding deserts, thick bush and forests. Their defence mechanism is safety in numbers and an early warning system. For this purpose, sentries take turns keeping a lookout around the dens, watching for threats in their characteristic upright pose.