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Meerkat Manor

Saturday, December 07, 2019

Meerkat Manor was a British tv show which ran on Animal Planet International from 2005-08 (4 seasons). They used traditional animal studies techniques kwith narration. Oddly enough (to me, anyways) was, in the UK, Bill Nighy narrated the program. It was redubed in Australia by Mike Goldman; & for the US, Sean Astin. The Kalahari Project studied the meerkat family nicknamed the Whiskers from the dozen or so families. Most families had the alpha female (the leader), & alpha male (usually from another family) & others that may have been related to the alpha female. Generally, only the alpha pair mated. Most of the matriarchs & some of the males wore tracking collars.



The observing humans gave them cute names - Flower, Rocket Dog, Shakespeare, Mozart, etc. The observers were only permitted to minimally affect the animals. Only 1 camera person & 1 audio person would work with them at a time, to minimize interference. They generally kept to a no interference policy, so when a meerkat was bitten by a poisonous snake, it died. Injured ones were not treated, although they sometimes used off camera euthanasia. They did test them for tuberculosis & removed them if needed from the colonies, since that is infectious & deadly. Oh, & they didn’t film year round, so if an animal disappeared between seasons, nobody knew what happened. I didn’t realize how small they were until they showed how the meerkats were photographed.


(Actual cameraman with the meerkats. They quickly got used to humans)


Africa, Toto, 1982



I hear the drums echoin' tonight
She hears only whispers of some quiet conversation
She's coming in, twelve-thirty flight
Moonlight wings reflect the stars that guide me toward salvation
I stopped an old man along the way
Hoping to find some old forgotten words or ancient melodies
He turns to me as if to say
Hurry boy it's waiting there for you



It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
There's nothing but a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in Africa
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had



The wild dogs cry out in the night
As the grow restless longing for some solitary company
I know that I must do what's right
Sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti
I seem to cure what's deep inside
Frightened of this thing that I've become



It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
There's nothing but a hundred man or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in Africa
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had



www.youtube.com/
watch?v=FTQbiNvZqaY


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