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Wild Vs. Captivity

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Meerkats are wild animals and should be left where they belong.

Taken From the WildEdit

Meerkat pet

Meerkat Pup Being Sold

Meerkats are taken from the wild in a cruel manner. They are often caught in traps that make movement limited or cause inescapable pain (such as digging deep into the meerkat's skin when they struggle. The meerkat is imprisoned until the traders come to collect them and sell them at a Black Market. A single meerkat can sell for over 2,000 pounds or over 3,000 US dollars (approximately 3,000 in AU dollars).

Living ConditionsEdit

The bad things: Meerkats make highly unsuitable pets. They are immensly sociable with their own species, living in groups of over 12 animals, and do not fair well in solitary confinement. Living alone can cause severe stress, sometimes to the point of self-harm. And having multiple meerkats is alot of hard work. Their digging instincts will lead to torn furniture, uprooted plants, and ripped carpets. They also have a tendancy to scent-mark their property; smearing their unpleasant-smelling rears across your beds, doors, literally anything. There's also the issue of toilet-training, whilst teaching a meerkat to discard feaces in a selected area is possible, managing their urinating habits is generally beyond a human's control. They will sometimes urinate over their partners.

ContactEdit

Meerkat Pet 2

Contained in a Small Cage

Being wild creatures, meerkats will unexpectantly bite or scratch someone, either out of fear, frustration, playfulness or simply boredom. They have been known to (rarely) carry rabies, so risking a bite can prove very deadly to a victim if the animal has not been vacinated by an experienced vet. Meerkats generally dislike being handled or pet, therefore they are considered dangerous when around curious young children.

DietEdit

Meerkats have a very varied diet consisting of insects, scorpions, spiders, millipedes, larvae, worms, and, less commonly, rodents, eggs, small birds and small snakes. Got all that in your fridge? Their diet is very complex and must not include grapes, raisins or excessive amounts of food containing high cholesterol, these can prove fatal. They can eat fruits, vegetables, certain seafoods and raw meat, but strongly prefer bugs. Meerkats must eat their own body-weight in food, daily. However, housed meerkats whom do not dig for their dinner will put on weight far quicker, therefore organising a stable diet will prove troublesome. Also, they do not alwasy eat their entire given meal. They have been known to eat the body of a locusts, leaving its legs behind, or remove the insides of a millipede and discard the shell, wherever they want. Your floor would ultimately become their new garbage area.

Co-ExistanceEdit

Meerkat Selling in Japan

Meerkat For Sale (Japan)

Co-existing a meerkat with another species (such as a dog, cat ect.) is not recommended. Meerkats are territorial and stubborn, they will fiercely defend their patch against larger animals (dogs being an equivilent to a wild jackal) which can lead to serious damage, either for the meerkat or the other creature, enjoy tormenting or chasing similar-sized critters (like cats and rabbits) and will quite happily eat a small bird, rodent or reptile (including baby tortoises). Meerkats are vulnerable to disease, being in close contact to another creature will expose them to illnesses which they mightn't be able to endure. If a young meerkat grew up alongside an animal, like a small dog, it would consider the other creature as part of the gang; seperation may cause severe stress. There's also the issue of how tolerant the other creature is of the meerkat's fierce personality...

ConclusionEdit

Purchasing meerkats from anywhere will only encourage the seller to collect more, which will lead to more disruptions to wild meerkat life and more suffering. They are wild animals, capable of dealing great damage to your home, friends, you, your profits and even themselves. If you wish to have contact with a meerkat, research zoos and parks in your area, a number of zoos over the world offer feeding and handling oppotunities with the meerkats. Notable places for meerkat contact include the Fellow Earthlings Wildlife Centre and the Kalahari Meerkat Project. They are extremely expensive and difficult to raise, so do the world a favour and leave them in the wild where they belong.

LinksEdit

Meerkat as Pets Blog

Zoo Meerkats

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