Mock meerkat motherly love

09:43, December 10, 2009      

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Five furry 10.16-centimeter motherless meerkats snuggle up to their surrogate stuffed "mother" at their home in Oldbury, West Midlands, England where they're being cared for by Steve Rowlands. The baby meerkats lost their mother shortly after childbirth, after the trauma of labor combined with her age proved too much. But Rowlands, 28, came up with an ingenious way to get them through what could have been a difficult childhood. Using a meerkat cuddly toy and a hot water bottle, he has now managed to recreate the motherly experience for the tiny creatures.

"They now assume that the toy is their mum and they are acting completely normally around it," he said. "Of course every hour we have to feed them milk ourselves, but use miniature little bottles which recreate how they would get it from mum."

The meerkat is a member of the mongoose family and is native to the Kalahari Desert in Botswana and South Africa. They are renowned for endearing group and social behavior that has seen the species become so popular in recent years.

Daily Mail

Source: Global Times
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