St. Petersburg, Russia: The Daily Mail reports that Ekaterina Kuraeva, 45, adopted a meerkat from Moscow Zoo six years ago because ‘she didn’t feel it was getting the care it needed’. In other words she performed a meekat rescue from a zoo.
At the time she already had what looks like a blue British Shorthair cat called Nice. Fortunately, they got on like a house on fire despite their contrasting personalities. ‘Nice’ is nice and laid back while Surya, the meerkat, appears to be more feisty and likes to play.
They have a popular Instagram account with almost 40k followers.
Comment: 95% of the Daily Mail commenters find the pictures adorable. The remainder question (1) how the lady managed to adopt a meerkat from a zoo. This is unheard of in the West and (2) meerkats are sociable creatures who live in large communities. They wonder if this is a suitable life.
Fair points but it is certainly an improvement on a zoo. The lady’s concern about the meerkat’s care at the zoo points to welfare issues at Moscow Zoo and I think zoos in general. The problem at the zoo may have been concerned with a lack of outlet for the sociable demands of the meerkat.
We only see the good stuff on Instagram. Are there any difficulties in keeping a meerkat as a pet? I’d bet there are. Domesticating wild animals is problematic especially when they have to live inside the home permanently which is what I expect is happening in this instance. Meerkats work together in numbers in the wild. I wonder how she feeds the meerkat? They are omnivores.
All the examples of domesticated wild cats that I have encountered have presented their own problems. There is a downside to living with ‘exotic’ wild animals in the home.
We can’t be too critical as they both have a decent life thanks to Ekaterina. But in an ideal world it would have been better if the meerkat was in its natural home on the African plains. In truth the story highlights the poor relationship humans have with wildlife. We can’t leave them alone to live their lives in their natural habitat. If you study the wild species as I do you’ll understand that. Humans destroy wild species habitat in countless ways.
There are many examples of what I call interspecies relationships on this website. Below are some examples. There are many more and some are really unusual.