I am happy that the rare Marsh Mongoose is still making appearances in my neighbourhood. I am sad and apprehensive that their numbers are not what they were when I made my home here nearly two decades back. Often in the morning while sipping my cup of tea, I see the mother mongoose crossing the road to enter into the still vacant marshy plots with one or two baby in tow. Sometimes their acts are really amusing. Once while walking, I saw a mongoose in the marshland on the roadside looking at me accusingly. Soon I discovered the reason. While she had just crossed the road, I came between her and her baby which was left on the other side. The eager face of the mom and the impatience of the baby with me in the middle made a curious picture. I deliberately stood my ground for sometime to enjoy the moments before moving away. With the marshlands dwindling fast, it's a matter of time before these beautiful mammals will be found only in pictures for our children to see.
In Kolkata, most of these rare animals are found in the East Kolkata Wetlands. This area is also home to the Palm Civets and Indian Civets (a few of the latter scurrying through I occasionally catch a glimpse of in my locality only after sunset) and the threatened Indian Mud Turtle.