What's a meerkat? Despite the name, which means 'mole cat' in Afrikaans, a meerkat is neither a cat nor a mole, but rather a species of mongoose that lives in the more arid regions of southern Africa. The name stems from their behavior - like little stretched-out moles, these charismatic mammals dig deep holes in their search to find food, and they excavate an intricate system of tunnels and burrows in which they sleep and find safety.
Meerkats are highly social animals that live in groups called mobs. They teach their young and are, unfortunately, targeted for the illegal wildlife trade for people who want them as pets. A meerkat is adorable, but it is NOT a pet!
Here is a sampling of photography from a year spent working with them in the Kalahari Desert.