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I first saw meerkats several years ago at a zoo. They looked comical in the way they kept popping up to attention, watching the zoo visitors. It wasn’t until much later that I realized their enclosure was too small and they were constantly at full alert because of the people wandering into their warning zone.
A few years later, the television show Meerkat Manor became popular as it followed the ins and outs of meerkat rivalries and inter-clan strife. Eventually I learned that meerkats are a species of mongoose.
Their mottled coats act as camouflage that helps them blend into their dry, grassy surroundings.