Aliza and myself just undertook a sentimentality trip today, to overcome our longing for small mammals of the furry kind.
I mean, Aliza has spent the past 3 or 4 years in the Kalahari observing Yellow Mongooses (or Mongeese? well, “Fuchsmangusten” in German), following their every step and listening to whatever sounds they uttered.
So Aliza’s probably THE expert on yellow mongooses. Worldwide. But now she’s fighting a lone battle with statistics to finish her PhD, in cold Zurich, far away from the sounds and smells of the Kalahari. And far away from furry sweeties like Choc Chip or Mickey… Doesn’t this sound dramatic? It does to me - I’ve only spent 2 weeks in the Kalahari Meerkat Project, but still miss the scurries.
It goes without saying that the birth of three meerkat pups in a combined meerkat/mongoose exhibition in the Rapperswil KinderZoo was reason enough to board the old steam boat on Lake of Zurich for a ride to Rapperswil, to visit the kats n’yellows. Here are our observations (mostly Aliza’s):
- The three yellows where more active than the kats, but still sedated compared to their cousins in the wild. Obvious to the expert eye was that the yellows were much more nervous than their wild counterparts. Poor thingies…
- A hot-air balloon is a strange kind of bird. Being a yellow, you can strain your ears and watch it for 10 minutes - but still no signs of attack. Hot-air ballons don’t seem to live on small mammals (contrary to rat creatures).
- And the meerkats? The kats were L.A.Z.Y., worse than during the Kalahari midday heat. Mama plus 3 pups formed a ball with an indiscriminate number of legs and tails sticking out. Papa watched us, his boredom indicating that we’re about as scary as a january bush. But they were SWEET!!!