Watch Squiggle, the Rescued Baby Mongoose, Explore Her Home

Karen Paolillo walks in the Zimbabwe bush every day and shares her neighborhood with elephants, leopards, baboons and hippos. But on one recent excursion, she came across a small ball of fur squeaking and crying. The sound was coming from a baby mongoose and a natural mother was nowhere to be found.

“There was no termite nest nearby, no hole, no nothing,” Karen explains. “I could not just leave the baby as it’s eyes were not even open yet and the umbilical cord was still attached although slightly dry.”

Eating from the tiniest syringe. Baby Squiggle would not suckle a bottle for the first couple of days.

Knowing that without a mother’s protection, the baby mongoose didn’t stand a chance, Karen did the only thing she could. She set up a trail camera to try to watch for a returning mother mongoose and then she took the little one home.

The first feeding was done by syringe with a formula concocted after a quick consultation with other wildlife experts in the area. The baby, given the name Squiggle, was snuggled into a pair of thermal hats for warmth. It would be a very long night, with feedings every two hours, but Karen and her husband Jean Roger were ready, and because the trail camera footage revealed only a pair of lions in the area where Squiggle was found, one night would turn to many.

It has been about six weeks since Squiggle was found and her life is full of wonder. Enjoy this video clip of Squiggle’s adventure walks with Karen.

As Squiggle grows up, she will begin to spend more and more time in the bush and develop some degree of independence from Karen. The expectation is that she may grow up to live in a semi-wild state and share her time between her natural environment and in the company of Karen.

In contrast to the complex aspects of wildlife protection here in the Zimbabwe bush, Karen and Jean Roger find Squiggle’s needs rather easy to meet. Much of their time is spent addressing overarching threats to animals here ,not just in the form of poaching, but in orchestrating major food and water initiatives to help the wildlife here during times of drought.

To follow Karen’s work at the Turgwe Hippo Trust and to see more of Squiggle, please visit the group’s website or Facebook page.

Related Stories:

Wild Babies Turn to Bush Nanny for Help (Video)

Caught on Camera, Balls of Light Fall on Leopards


Mary Cromley
.3 years ago

I saw another video of Squiggles the other day, with Karen's cats. She is such a sweet little baby. So glad that she was rescued and has a great new "mom".

Fred Hoekstra
Fred Hoekstra4 years ago

Thank you Laura, for Sharing this!

Alice Almeida
Alice Almeida5 years ago


Nickihermes Celine
Past Member 5 years ago

so cute,thank you 20/6

Carolanne Powell
Carolanne Powell5 years ago

Love sent to Karen and Jean Roger, & all who help with the animals. Thankyou for what you do Xx

Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing :)

KAROLY Molinari5 years ago

Thanks Karen and Jean Roger for taking care of such a cute and helpless creature!!!!!!!!!!!

Elizabeth Conlan
Elizabeth Conlan5 years ago

love it

Kate S.
Kate S5 years ago

Cute ...then again any baby is cute~ thanks and good work Karen

Carolanne Powell
Carolanne Powell5 years ago

What a little darling. I hope she integrates well back into the wild when it's time.