Meerkat rescued by us after he was dumped in a field now has a new home
A meerkat which we rescued after he was dumped in a field is now enjoying life in a new home... and he has a girlfriend too!
The loved-up pair, called Masaa and Sahara, are now looking forward to spending their first Valentine's Day together.
Massa was picked up by us last year after reports that a meerkat had been found dumped in a carrier bag in a field in the Burnley area.
Animal rescuer Demi Hodby was sent to collect Masaa and was unable to find the person responsible for callously dumping him - however she did manage to find him a loving home with a specialist keeper in Stoke-on-Trent.
Unsuitable environments for wild animals
We sadly do come across these wild animals being kept in people's homes, often alone, in totally unsuitable conditions.
The specialist keeper had a single female meerkat after her companion sadly had a stroke around Christmas time. They were happy to take on Massa as meerkats are very social animals and need the company of others. They also need specialist care and are not at all suited to being kept as pets.
Sahara and Massa were introduced to each other slowly, starting in their carriers. The introduction was a success and now they get on great and love spending time in each other's company. They will be spending their first Valentine's Day together as a couple and no doubt will enjoy an insect-based meal together.
I'm so pleased Masaa and Sahara have found each other and they get on so well. Meerkats need to be cared for by a specialist keeper and need the company of other meerkats in order to live a happy, healthy life. Sadly, when we encounter meerkats we often see individual meerkats being kept or offered for sale apart from their gang.
Lone meerkats are also very difficult to integrate back into social groups.
Looking after exotic pets
The meerkat is a small, wild animal native to southern Africa who belongs to the mongoose family. Meerkats roam territories that can extend for several kilometres and spend hours foraging and digging for food. Meerkats are extremely social and live in tight-knit groups of up to 40 individuals in the wild. They have a keen sense of smell, vision, and hearing for sensing predators.
Meerkats have specialist needs and are not suited to be kept in someone's home. They can also be aggressive and smelly, due to their extensive scent marking. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of how much of a commitment animals like this are when they take them on. Impulse buying risks people not understanding fully what they need to provide for the animal. Animals may become aggressive, grow very large, live for a long time or require a licence or paperwork to be legally kept or sold. Without proper care, exotic animals can suffer from serious diseases and, in severe cases or if left untreated, they can die.
We encourage prospective owners of any exotic pet to thoroughly research the animal's needs, using expert sources, and only consider keeping one if they can ensure they are fully able to provide for these needs. The needs of non-domestic animals are just the same as they would be in the wild and are often linked to a specialist environment, diet or particular behaviour.
Find a pet that's right for your family
Although we would never recommend a Meerkat as a pet, there're many animals in our care who could be the perfect pet for your family. Whether it's a gerbil, a mouse, a cat or a rat, by rehoming an animal from us you'll be helping to make a significant difference in an animal's life.