We got our first orphaned meerkat about 21 years ago. Since our first successful rehab we have always felt it our duty to look after these little creatures that people like to tame and keep as house pets.
Although they are very cute when small they can dehydrate quickly and people are often not successful in rearing them. Sometimes they make it to us in time to rescue them but sometimes it is, sadly, too late.
We also get teenage meercats as it is the time when they start to bite strangers that visit their owners’ homes. When these little ones become a problem to their owners, we get them to release into the wild again after an intensive few weeks of teaching them how to look after themselves in the veld. It sometimes takes longer and sometimes we need to wait for more to join the group before releasing can take place.
Although each and every one of these meercats, that have found their way into our home and hearts, have their own personality, we love them all and lots of tears flow the day we have to say good bye and see how the big boys and girls find a new home in the veld. Often we are visited by some of them again when they trek through to a new area. It is always rewarding to see them coping and that they have made even more friends. Although we miss them terribly when we had to rear them from babies, it is very satisfying to know they are doing well in their natural environment. The most important thing to remember is that they are where they belong – in the wild.