A group of meerkats – otherwise known as a mob – seemingly decided they’d had enough of being cooped up at the zoo and ran off to treat themselves to a fun day out at the beach.
The curious little creatures broke out of Sealife Adventure in Essex yesterday (July 12) and quickly scattered themselves among tourists, possibly in an attempt to blend in with the crowds, or maybe to seek out some new Compare The Market customers.
It all seems very Madagascar, if you ask me. I think these meerkats would fit in well alongside King Julien and his army of lemurs. Judging by the way they scurried along the sea front it’s clear the little creatures liked to move it move it. Sorry.
Check out their great escape here:
It was later revealed the meerkats had escaped after someone broke into their enclosure and wrecked their home. The criminal’s thoughtless act put the animals at risk but thankfully Sealife Adventure said they’d all made it back safe and sound.
The meerkats scampered through the popular seaside resort in Essex and were later seen roaming a miniature golf course.
Local police did their best to herd the escapees together but the little animals were apparently determined to make the most of their freedom as they evaded the authorities and continued to make a run for it.
Footage of the meerkats was shared on Twitter but Niall Moran, who pointed out one hilarious moment which saw a meerkat standing on its hind legs, face to face with an amused human.
The Twitter user created an incredible meme out of the image, drawing on the sales-pitching meerkats we’ve got used to seeing on television adverts.
In a Facebook post describing the situation, Sealife Adventure explained Assistant Manager Melissa was the first member of staff to arrive at the scene and thankfully the meerkats recognised her blue branded t-shirt.
Fortunately members of the public, police and PCSO assisted in keeping the meerkats in the area.
The meerkats recognised Melissa’s Blue shirt (the same colour as the Sealife Adventure Team) which encouraged them to rally around her.
The post continued:
By now the Sealife Adventure team, Managing Director Marc Miller and Security Supervisor Mitchell Lotter arrived – and our meerkats rescue plan went into action.
Animal Keeper Nick (next on the scene) has a strong bond with the meerkats having been with them at Tropical wings – he has known many of them from birth. This bond allowed him to coax most of them back home – and they were happy to get there.
Sealife are urging anyone with information about the crime to come forward; the company are offering a reward of £1,000 along with a Sealife Adventure and Adventure Island Annual pass as well a chance to meet the meerkats in exchange for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible.
It’s sad that anyone would break in to the meerkats’ enclosure and put them at risk but hopefully the mob enjoyed their day out while it lasted!
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.