Meerkat Manor, 9-7-2007. Challenging times ahead for the Whiskers.

Wow, it looks like the Whiskers have been too successful for their own good. Flower and Zaphod have split with half the group in order to find better land to survive on, abandoning Flower’s two new pups, Len and Squiggy. An inexperienced Rocket Dog has taken charge of the splinter group. And if that weren’t enough, it looks like the Zappa may be taking the Whiskers over from within, some of their males hooking up with several of the Whiskers’ females.

And the pups have paid the price for the hard times. Len has been killed by a bird of prey. And Squiggy, born with a deformed foot, has simply not been able to keep up with the group and has been abandoned to his fate.

I wonder if Len and Squiggy were Flower’s pups by Zaphod? Did she intentionally leave them to the care of Rocket Dog and her group, or did they get accidentally get separated from her? Is she still pregnant by Houdini? And what will become of Zaphod? Will he lose his status as dominant male and be condemned to rove the desert?

(I realize that the events depicted on the show have been edited to present a narrative and that they are actual occurrences in the lives of the meerkats that may have been reported in other sources. Please indulge me and those of us who keep up with their lives week by week and refrain from spoiling them here. Thanks.)

Just a quick warning to stay away from the Wiki page for this show, there are some pretty big spoilers to be found. I found out the hard way. :frowning:

I thought I was the only doper who watched Animal Planet. I posted once about another AP series and got no replies. I love Meerkat Manor! More captivating, suspenseful, dramatic, amusing, heartwarming, and heartbreaking than most tv shows. Watching Carlos slowly die brought tears to my eyes; it’s hard to see the pups go too, but I keep watching because there are more feel-good moments than bad.

My husband loves this show. I used to watch it with him, but I couldn’t take the pups dying so much. Like poor Motzart. She’s had two litters, both of which died. Or were killed actually. Nope, don’t watch it anymore.

This season is certainly shaping up to be grim! I’m glad the anthromorphism of the first season has been toned down, but I suspect a lot of people are finding this more realistic look at meerkat life hard to watch. These little critters live tough lives!

My son loves this show. The meerkats sure are cute–but it’s hard to see them die. I don’t like soap operas, but this can really pull you in!

I watched the 9/7 show last night - wow, what a bummer. Both pups gone. Nothing heartwarming or amusing about that ep. The downside of all these shows featuring animals is that you can’t know why they do or don’t do something. The MM eps always emphasize that the group is a family and they look out for each other, posting sentinels and using babysitters. But, boy, one predator comes along and it’s every man for himself, so the two pups don’t make it. Why wasn’t it the responsibility of the group to assure that the pups got to the bolt hole too? Perhaps the group-think (instinct) is to save the adults first because they can participate in the defense of the entire group and their territory. Well, hawks and eagles got to eat too. Most animals are predators, and all are prey.

When I started to watch this show, I thought: “Damn, they have new litters all the time”. Then I realized the reason…they tend to die a lot and need the new pups to replace the ones they lost. Makes perfect sense to me, it is a really harsh environment to live in and attrition would surely be very high. I wonder how the researchers (who were doing this long before the show) handle it while they have to observe them all the time and get attached to some of the old-timers? Professional detachment? I know some of the names from the show are different from the project, but still people get attached to subjects of study all the time and losing one is probably pretty hard. I mean, from reading about the project the meerkats have gotten so used to the researchers being around that they will climb onto them if no other platform is available to keep up the lookout for predators. That kind of trust has to have some kind of effect on you.