Tonga’s Department of Quarantine has offered a TP$100 reward to anyone who can help find the two mongooses still missing in Tonga.
Following leads from the public the department collected furs and remains of what they believed were of a dead animal in Kolofoʻou early this month.
The remains were sent to New Zealand for scientific examination and to confirm whether or not they belonged to the mongooses.
But these have since been officially declared as cat remains, Quarantine Department spokesperson Graham Malaʻefoʻou said.
Six mongooses made their way into the kingdom through a container of paints that was shipped from Fiji.
Three of the mammals were found dead and the other three escaped when the container was opened on June 8.
One of the escapees was eventually cornered and recaptured while the other two still missing.
“Anyone who can find the mongooses “dead or alive” will get the $100″, Malaʻefoʻou said.
Mongooses are not native to Tonga. The mammals were first introduced into the kingdom’s neighbouring country Fiji in 1883 to control rats in sugar cane fields.
According to the National Geographic website mongooses are primarily found in Africa.
Ranging in size from the 7-inch-long (18-centimeter-long) dwarf mongoose to the 2-foot-long (60-centimeter-long) Egyptian mongoose; these sleek mammals have long bodies with short legs and tapered snouts.
They normally have brown or gray grizzled fur, and a number of species sport striped coats or ringed tails.