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Friday, 4 June 2010

Meet the Meerkats – a perfect present for animal lovers


Something about meerkats is inherently appealing, and it’s no surprise that their recent rise to fame has seen them capture the hearts and minds of thousands of people. Meerkats share many characteristics with humans – the way they lie on their backs when relaxing and stand on their hind legs to see into the distance is so like similar to the way we act that you can’t help but feel an affinity with the little critters, which makes our Meet the Meerkats experience a great gift idea for anyone who has a soft spot for them.
A member of the mongoose family, meerkats reach about 30cm tall and use their tails for balance when they stand on their hind legs. They have stripy fur on their backs and the precise patterns in which it grows is unique to each individual meerkat. A popular African belief is that the meerkat protects villages from the moon devil which they believe attacks cattle and lone tribesmen, and they call the meerkat the sun angel. A Meet the Meerkats experience is a chance to discover whether you think they would be able to manage to chase off predators, but also to get up close and personal with these little animals.
Meerkats live in a structured society with around twenty to thirty members living in a colony who groom each other regularly to cement their social bonds, and one member of the group will always be the ‘lookout’ when they are foraging for food or playing, making a special warning sound to alert their ‘families’ to any predators or other danger – this sends the other members of the colony running to their holes to hide in one of the many burrows they dig specifically for the purpose. They also run in-colony babysitting circles with females protecting the young of the whole group, even throwing herself on top of them if the need arises. You will learn plenty about the way the meerkats interact with a Meet the Meerkats experience, as well as having a chance to feed them and possible end up as their latest toy.
If you know someone who loves these little creatures, or a general animal lover who would leap at the chance to get up close with a family of meerkats and see what they really get up to when they’re not on television, then a Meet the Meerkats experience is the perfect present.

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