Recently, a gentleman stopped at the entrance of Cango Wildlife Ranch, at Oudtshoorn South Africa, with a box containing a tiny, big-eyed Meerkat pup.
According to the gentleman, he discovered the baby hovering near mommy’s lifeless body in the middle of a road on the outskirts of Oudtshoorn. Sadly, mom had been hit by a car; and not wanting the youngster to suffer the same fate, the man caught the pup and quickly drove his little rescue straight to Cango Wildlife Ranch.
The baby Meerkat was fondly named Scout by his new keepers and went into round-the-clock care in the park’s Animal Care Centre.
Staff confirmed that Scout is a male, and they believe that, around the date of drop-off, he was between 6 to 8 weeks of age.
For the first few days, he was fed milk by syringe and later moved onto solids such as chicken. It is reported that he has formed devoted bonds with his carers, who are working hard to instill natural Meerkat behavior and enrichment into his daily routine.
Due to the expertise of the staff at the Ranch, and their recently built animal hospital, they often accept the responsibility of caring for injured fauna that are brought to them by local travelers, residents, and farmers in accordance with Cape Nature.
In many cases, staff is able to rehabilitate and even release, specifically with injured snakes, tortoises and birds. However, some releases are simply not possible due to the extent of injuries and human contact experienced throughout the process of rehabilitation. Scout, for example, having been hand-raised, will join the Meerkat exhibit at Cango Wildlife Ranch indefinitely.
According to Cango Wildlife Ranch’s press release concerning Scout, they have an important message to convey: “If we can get the public at large to take anything away from this story, it’s to encourage everyone on the roads to drive with caution. Far too many animals are injured and killed on our roads. Sometimes this is simply inevitable, but being more alert in the rural areas may save a few of our furry, feathered and scaled friend’s lives.”
“We further encourage that when you find these injured animals that you notify local bodies/facilities who can assist, additionally Cape Nature [in South Africa] is always contactable. Secondly we would like to commend the gentleman who brought Scout to us. It is important to know that these animals are not pets and we do not encourage that they be seen as such. It is important to emphasize that it is illegal to provide rehabilitation to sick, injured or orphaned wild animals without proper permits and licenses in place, and equally as important, we urge this be done by skilled individuals dedicated to animal care with access to the right facilities.”
“Needless to say, Scout has a long journey ahead with us and we are honored to provide his forever-home where he will be represented alongside 89 other amazing species that form part of our education through conservation platform.”