Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Meerkat Manor: Meerkats have a Tough Life

Meerkat Manor is a television series made by Oxford Scientific Films for Animal Planet. It presents the daily activities of a family, or mob, of wild meerkats as part of the Kalahari Meerkat Project. Although the show has elements of a documentary, and is based on actual events, the narrative is presented in a style similar to a soap opera.

The show is narrated by Bill Nighy in the UK and Canada, Mike Goldman in Australia, and Sean Astin in the USA. The series was originally shown in the UK, and is its primary home, but was picked up in Australia, Canada, and the United States, and is now a worldwide hit.

The show is currently in production for its third season of 13 episodes; as of April 2007 the second season is being shown in the UK on BBC 2 on Sunday early evenings and repeated on the next Saturday. Season 3 began airing in the United States on August 10, 2007. Other sources also report that it has been contracted for two more years.

It’s a tough life being a meerkat. First off, there’s a lot of infighting within the mob itself. Meerkats sleeping with other meerkats, messy breakups and sordid affairs. Then, they’re the other meerkat mobs that are always fighting and competing for territories. And to top it off, there are all the predators trying to eat the meerkats, like hawks, owls, other rodents and snakes. A meerkat’s life is no waltz in the woods, believe me!

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