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Ichneumon (n.) Any carnivorous mammal of the genus Herpestes, and family Viverridae. Numerous species are found in Asia and Africa. The Egyptian species(H. ichneumon), which ranges to Spain and Palestine, is noted for destroying the eggs and young of the crocodile as well as various snakes and lizards, and hence was considered sacred by the ancient Egyptians. The common species of India (H. griseus), known as the mongoose, has similar habits and is often domesticated. It is noted for killing the cobra.