I seem to have lost the "M" volume of my encyclopedia, so bear with me on this one, ok? This is a mongoose. Mongooses are part of the family that includes ferrets, weasels and martens. Mongooses live in India. They eat snakes. It's very odd, but they seem to live to kill snakes. If you read the story, Rikki Tikki Tavi, by Rudyard Kipling, it explains it a little. I also heard of a young mongoose who had been in captivity his whole life, then was introduced to a snake. The mongoose instinctively knew what to do and killed the deadly thing easily, even though he had never seen one before.
Mongooses (or is it mongeese?) are sometimes able to survive bites from poisonous snakes, such as the cobra in this picture. The more times they are bitten and survive, the more likely it is they will survive the next time they are bitten, if that makes any sense. :P