In the wild, they live in tight-knit groups of up to 40 and dislike being alone, but animal campaigners fear many are being sold as individuals. Annie Davis, an animal welfare expert who specialises in rescuing meerkats, says this has led to some tragic consequences. I hear of cases where people are feeding them cat food and keeping them in cages, which is terribly cruel.
However, one meerkat owner who disagrees is Dawn Wade. The year-old carer, who lives in Manchester with her daughter Alisha, five, grew up around meerkats because her father Peter collected exotic animals and owned one from the age of seven. She now has four — Mucky, Shadow, Isabel and Daisy. My daughter will often chase them around the house and then tickle them, which they love. Shadow is less sociable. They love cuddles. They are very territorial and one will always be keeping a lookout for danger. Mucky in particular is often interested in the stranger and will soon let them pet him.
Vet Dr Scott Miller has noticed a rise in people bringing meerkats into surgery. They can be aggressive and are fearful of many things, particularly anything flying overhead. A home in a flight path is their idea of hell.
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Despite owning three meerkats — Neo, Kato and Razi — she uses them to teach the public about the realities of living with the animals. It sounds like it is not for the faint-hearted. I feed them mealworms, crickets, locusts, wax worms. I supplement them with fruit and veg — they love courgettes, peppers, blueberries and I also give them a gutted day-old chick every day for meat. Melissa, who has a masters degree in animal welfare, says she used to allow them in her home but now has a special enclosure in the garden.
They can also harbour all kinds of bacteria in their mouths so any bite can turn nasty.
Melissa is horrified by the thought that some owners let their children play with meerkats unsupervised. Ours love being scratched just above their tails, which is a natural stimulus area for meerkat mutual grooming. They also recognise Ben and I as honorary members of their mob. They have distinct personalities. Razi is the most hyper and we suspect that he will one day take over from Neo as the alpha male.
Here they can do all the things that their parents think they are too young to do. Miffy the fairy Miffy imagines what fun it would be to become a fairy. She could wave her wand and make a castle, give a bird a glorious tail and turn pears into rosy apples.
Miffy the ghost Miffy dresses up as a ghost and decides it would be fun to scare her friends. But when she frightens dear Aunt Alice, it's time to stop.
Mike I don't like Mike has no hesitation in letting anyone know exactly how he feels, and it appears that there is much he does not like. Mike loudly proclaims his dislike of everything from sandwiches to lizards, from cheese to tickles, all described in rhyme just itching to be spoken aloud. Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel Mike Mulligan proves that, although dated, his steam shovel is still useful. Mila and the missing lions Mila's parents are lion tamers, they're part of a circus. Mila is a lion tamer too.
She has everything she needs, except, well, lions. So, she practises on her dog, Ralph, who doesn't care for his paper mane and would much rather be asleep on the sofa.
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When Mila opens the gate to the lions' cage to slip in, they slip out. They have sharp teeth and pointy claws. Mila must catch the missing lions before anyone finds out. Milli, Jack and the dancing cat Milli has a special gift for fixing things. She can make something out of any old discarded thing or mend boots and tools. But, all the townsfolk ever want are sensible things.
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Milli keeps her dream of making something special to herself. Millicent Every day at the same time, Millicent walks through Hyde Park.
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She never speaks to anyone, but the park pigeons expect her. When they see her, they make a sweeping circle above the place where she always stops. Millicent's dream is to find enough feathers on the ground to eventually make herself a feather coat, hat, bag and shoes. This wordless story is told through magnificent collages. Millie loves ants 'My friend Millie just loves ants. And so Emily carefully observes Millie until she discovers her secret.
Millie is collecting food for her baby puggle! Millie's special something Big, bad Reggie loves to scare Millie. He thinks it's fun. But, not for Millie, it's frightening. All her friends have a special something to make them feel brave. Millie wonders why she doesn't have a special something too. Millions of cats A man goes out for one kitten but comes back with millions of cats.
Milo and the magical stones Milo, the mouse lives on a small mountain island and finds a glowing, gold-foil rock that provides warmth and light on a cold night. The mice will either be unselfish and caring and replace what they have taken or act with greed and envy. Milo and the mysterious island Milo and his fellow cliff mice set off with magical stones that give light, to an island where strange, striped mice are reputed to live. The cliff mice will either be cooperative, friendly and sharing or they will be fearful and untrusting.
Milo armadillo Tallulah wants a pink, fluffy rabbit for her birthday.
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But, she can't find one anywhere. When Gran decides to knit her a fluffy, pink rabbit, the present is not quite what Tallulah had in mind. Milo's birthday surprise Children can search for clues in the bold illustrations to see what birthday surprises are in store for Milo. Milo is wondering who might come and play. Meanwhile, Felix the frog flips and flaps and Kylie the koala practises karate kicks. Fun to read with mum or dad or to a little brother or sister.
Mini rabbit not lost Mini Rabbit is making a cake. But he's run out of berries. No berries, no cake. So off he goes to look for some. He's not cold, not too small - no, and definitely not lost. Or is he? Minty and Tink When searching for a birthday present for her baby brother, Minty finds a tiny, toy bear who can talk. Instantly, they become the very best of friends and Minty decides that she does not want to give Tink away to her little brother. Miracle of the little wooden duck, The Once upon a time, there was a little wooden duck that sat on the windowsill of Annie's bedroom.
Every day, Annie stroked the little green duck, wishing it could see and hear and speak to her. But, the little green wooden duck continued to sit silently on the windowsill until, one day, a great gust of wind blew it into the river. Cats scared of mice, cats scared of birds, cats who can't pounce, and cats who won't purr. Miss Hazeltine runs lots of different lessons and emphasises holding tails high, arching backs and thinking good thoughts. But, under the rug or in the inky-black of under-the-bed lurks little Crumb, the most fearful feline of all.
He longs to be brave and courageous.
Miss Lily's fabulous pink feather boa Last Potoroo a rare and endangered long-footed potoroo is incredibly lonely, but lacks the courage to search for others of her kind. Shy and timid, her trip to the tropical north is a milestone and a bright pink feather boa changes her life.
Miss Llewellyn-Jones Miss Llewellyn-Jones lives in a windy place and has a lot of trouble keeping her washing on the line. She loses jeans, tops, socks and knickers.
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But, when she hangs out Teddy, things take a surprising turn. Teddy takes off on an adventure of his own and it takes all his ingenuity to find his way home. Missing Marvin Marvin loves his job. He has never missed a day of work. Sometimes his friends play jokes to pass the time. Sometimes the jokes are on Marvin.
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