I had been trying to get to see meerkats in the wild ever since I moved to the garden route in 2007. I knew about meerkat magic and Grant McIlrath but no matter how many times I tried to make contact with him over all types of media and even on the phone- it never worked. I just couldn’t get through. I searched the internet and found Devey Glinister. I am glad I did. Devey is a real character and you can see that he really loves the little Meerkats he takes people to see. He has only been working with Meerkats since 2009 but Devey has a wealth of knowledge just from observing. He speaks a lot about the illegal trade in Meerkats and I think it’s a good thing he warns people that the cute little things are not cut out to be pets. They really are so cute that I can imagine most people would want to own them. It’s not a good idea. This is what Devey says :
“All animals are born with certain instincts which need to be stimulated. Animals don’t see you as an owner of friend but as a member of their group. This comes with all the behaviours and tests that will establish the leader of the group. Scratching and biting are behaviours to establish authority, and are then seen as bad and the animal is not cute anymore. It is then abandoned or kept in a cage.”
Devey told me that Meerkats will also make a very plaintiff noise almost continually if they are removed from the family structure. Most people cannot deal with these and the “cute” little fluffy guy suddenly becomes a burden.
Leave them alone!