Decapitation of the tortoise Chersina angulata: Is the large grey mongoose a headhunter?

  • Scot L. Ramsay
Keywords: tortoise, predation, Chersina, mongoose.


This paper reports a previously undescribed form of predation upon the angulate  tortoise, Chersina angulata, in the West Coast National Park, South Africa. Twelve recently killed C. angulata were found, within an area of 4–5 hectares, during April  2000. The head and neck were missing from all individuals, while the rest of the body was undamaged. Spoor of the large grey mongoose, Herpestes ichneumon, was observed at a freshly killed tortoise and it is argued that this was the predator  responsible.

Keywords: tortoise, predation, Chersina, mongoose.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2224-073X
print ISSN: 1562-7020