Mundenhof kats at Smithsonians "Surprising Science"

An article on the Smithsonian magazine website features the "Air Raid" video.
This has been around since February but Doro just discovered it.
They wrongly attribute the kats to Hannover instead of Freiburg though.


For those who haven't heard of "Smithsonian": Smithsonian magazine is a monthly magazine created for modern, well-rounded individuals with diverse interests. It chronicles the arts, history, sciences and popular culture of the times. Each subscription includes a complimentary membership to the Smithsonian Institution. The printed version has a circulation of ca. 2 million (too bad that isn't where the kats are :)

The institution itself is "an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men" founded from the will of British scientist James Smithson in 1846 (it is however a US foundation. It seems Smithson was fed up with British society of his time). In practice the institution runs several museums (including many very well known ones in Washington DC) and funds research. Establishment from the funds of Smithson was carried out by Congress and so it is associated with the US federal government.
Probably one of the best known museums run by the institution is the National Air & Space Museum, which has pretty much everything that has ever flown (or attempted to). That is also one I have personally visited.


Meerkat Birthday Video

Here comes the promised video taken yesterday.


Happy 1st Birthday!

On Monday we celebrated the 1st birthday of Sayuri, Snoutie and Caruso.

With permission from the Mundenhof staff we brought some meerkat treats (mealworms, and locusts) and one other meerkat friend brought worms from her compost and crickets. She put those into empty toilet rolls filled up with hay and had the kats pull out all the food.

The kats were very happy and had a great birthday party! Of course the adults got some treats, too.

Today we visited again to feed the leftover mealworms.
Those I watched with a mixture of fascination and disgust. On Monday night, when we returned home, they were completely inert. But as soon as I put some muesli into their box, it was FEEDING FRENZY all over with the worms writhing and crawling. On the next morning they also had grown...

For those of you shivering with disgust, mealworms are completely dry, they don`t smell but they will crawl in your hand.

As the enclosure is very overgrown at the moment, we hid the mealworms in the less conspicuous corners and had the kats search for them. It did not always work, as they soon realized that there were many more worms to come and watched each of our steps closely.

The youngsters had a very funny hipslamming and pressing competition for some worms hidden behind wood bark. This will usually end with either the kats getting bored, falling asleep or another kat walking up and eating the treats.

It was very funny to watch the interaction going on with everybody sitting or being sat on by everybody. Sayuri in particular will make the same loud and snarling noises with a little piggy squeak in the end as her mother Möfzi does, when very excited.

And we could not resist to touch their backs, as they were so engrossed in their competition and would notice nothing around them. Their fur is very soft ;-)

I would not recommend trying this with a meerkat of your choice, even though it is hard to resist, as they wil usually either bite you or run away.

Exactly one year ago, on July 15th, we sighted one of the pups for the first time.
Here you will find the first video taken of the pup(s) and also some pictures taken during the first weeks.

Möfzi dragged them around a lot during the first weeks, as it was her first litter to survive and she did not know exactly what to do with those little squeakers.

Here are some picture of the youngsters taken on Monday and one picture of their parents Möfzi and Jolly Roger (R. I. P.) taken last summer, video will follow soon.

Left: Snoutie,
Right: Little Lady Short Tail Sayuri

Left: Caruso
Right: The Proud Parents Möfzi (front) and Jolly Roger (back)


Meerkat Short Tail Competition

Even Sayuri`s tail is longer... We often wonder why there are so many short-tailed meerkats in captivity and you never see them in the wild.