This is another sad day for the mob.
Yesterday I visited the kats and did not see Möfzi. On my last visit a couple of weeks ago, she was still alive, but very weak. Möfzi could only take some steps at a time and had to sit down or rather crouch on the ground.
Christian visited the kats about 2 weeks ago, she was still alive then, but also very weak. He reported that she used her nose for pushing herself over the logs and stones. Her offspring groomed her a lot and made those squeaky "I-love-you"-sounds.
I had also noticed during my last visits that her offspring spent more time around her and she looked very well groomed. Getting up on her hind legs often proved too much, though and I also had the impression that she had difficulties chewing her food. She had not lost her appetite or interest in her surroundings, though.
With Möfzi gone it looks like the two females, Sayuri and Caruso are fighting for dominance again. I noticed some aggressive behaviour going on between these two and Sayuri has another huge bite wound on her lower right jaw, just like last summer.
As none of the males is interested, there is no new dominant couple. In the wild this situation would surely have attracted the odd roving male, but in captivity it would make sense to introduce another male to the group.
As some of you may be aware, introducing another animal into an existing meerkat mob is very difficult, sometimes even impossible. Meerkats are very territorial and very social animals.
A stranger to the group will often be mobed, bitten and sometimes even killed. In capitivity limited escape is an added difficulty, as the "stranger" has no means of escaping vicious attacks like he could in the wild.
This is one of the last pictures take from Möfzi by Christian on August, 21st.
R.I.P. Möfzi, we will miss you dearly!
left: Snoutie, right: Möfzi