The meerkat uses its long claws on the front foot for digging up food.
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Nature Poems: June 2015: The grass ate my boots - a nature poem composed by Grant M. Mc Ilrath
Submitted by Grant on Tuesday, June 30 @ 23:24:07 UTC The grass ate my boots - a nature poem composed by Grant M. Mc Ilrath - A.K.A - The Meerkat Man - dedicated to my mother Estelle Mc Ilrath who has experienced this too and asked me to write about this - so here it is Mom.
Kalahari sour grass (Schmidtia kalahariensis), it is called Suur gras in Afrikaans.
This grass covers vast areas of the Kalahari desert after heavy rainfall. It is very sticky and acidic and highly irritating to any skin surfaces and it destroys clothing.
Over seven years in the Kalahari wilderness I had many pairs of shoes eaten away by this grass.
My tatty shoes even featured in an internationally screened National Geographic documentary called Meerkat Madness back in 2000 where the camera follows me walking at a low angle with a focus on my old worn out grass eaten boots.
This poem is for all who have experienced the Kalahari grass up close and a warning to anybody who has not. As I enjoy mentioning it is nice from far, but far from nice...
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Nature Poems: 05 February 2015 VIDEO POEM: Natures six legged bulldozer beetle!
Submitted by Grant on Thursday, February 05 @ 13:33:49 UTC Rolling, rolling - it can never cease...
Forever rolling to enjoy a feast...
Natures six legged bulldozer is a rolling beast!
Verses by Grant M. Mc Ilrath - A.K.A - The Meerkat Man
Conservation Through Education: An energetic beetle rolls dung to feed it's future young. This dung beetle is one of the thousands of protected inhabitants that make The Meerkat Magic Valley Reserve of The Meerkat Magic Conservation Project their home.
It should not be the size of the species that makes it worthy of attention in the media or in tourism and conservation. All species that occur in The Meerkat Magic Valley Reserve no matter their size or endangered status are treated with equality - all are protected here.
Many people do not take the time to observe the species at their very feet, instead they trample them in search of the 'BIG 5" (The Big Five) and others...without species like this dung beetle that protects the very basal level of the ecology pyramid, larger species would not even survive. Please protect all our species and not only the 'biggest' or the most endangered, all require protection!
Observations from the personal film archives of Grant M. Mc Ilrath - A.K.A - The Meerkat Man from The Meerkat Magic Conservation Project in The Meerkat Magic Valley Reserve which forms the territory of The Ungulungu Wild and Free meerkat / meerkats / suricate / suricates range.
Nature Poems: The Silent Call by Grant M. Mc Ilrath
Submitted by Grant on Saturday, October 19 @ 17:28:27 UTC As a professional wildlife research biologist and Nature Conservationist I (Grant M. Mc Ilrath - A.K.A - The Meerkat Man) often stare in complete wonder at the natural world around me, and often feel inspired to try and capture the essence of what I experience, by painting it in words.
This poem is dedicated to all the thousands of meerkat friendly visitors from around the world who have heard the cicada when visiting me over the years.
The following poem attempts to capture what I have experienced over many years while watching Wild and Free meerkats / suricates of The Ungulungu group in The Meerkat Magic Valley Reserve of The Meerkat Magic Conservation Project around Oudtshoorn Western Cape South Africa...
The cicada is a very important and yet diminutive insect that lives in The Meerkat Magic Valley Reserve - I have listened to the cicada for countless hours, and I have realised how important it is in the ecology as the equivalent of an alarm system / neighbourhood watch.
The Silent Call by Grant M. Mc Ilrath
Secretively hidden in plain sight
compound eyes shining bright
drinking and feasting on delicious plant sap
but like a hidden snare
all visitors here should beware
caught by the all-seeing eyes
in this insect alarm triggering trap.
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Nature Poems: Run run tok tokkie run run by Grant M. Mc Ilrath
Submitted by grant on Monday, February 22 @ 20:00:10 UTC As a professional wildlife research biologist and Nature Conservationist I (Grant M. Mc Ilrath - A.K.A - The Meerkat Man) often stare in complete wonder at the natural world around me, and often feel inspired to try and capture the essence of what I experience, by painting it in words.
The following verses materialized in my mind whilst watching the unenviable fate of a certain famous beetle species and the Wild and Free meerkats / suricates of The Ungulungu group in The Meerkat Magic Valley Reserve of The Meerkat Magic Conservation Project around Oudtshoorn Western Cape South Africa...
Run run tok tokkie run run! By Grant M. Mc Ilrath - A.K.A - The Meerkat Man
Tok tok tok tok
Who goes there?
Tok tok tok tok
Little shiny beetle have a care...
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Submitted by Grant on Thursday, November 26 @ 21:01:16 UTC Please visit the MUST SEE website of Beatrice Wiltshire - The Snout - this will move you - anybody with any interest in conservation should make sure they read what has been captured there - I am deeply moved...(this comment in italics is from The Meerkat Man)Press Here to visit The Snout
This poem was published in Departing Dawn as part of a competition. About the cruel vivisection trade, and written in memory of the eight wild caught baboons which were rescued from the NCOH where they'd spent 10 years in in-door cages.
The poem was written in memory of the two baboons from the NCOH who did not make it to freedom. They were too weak and could
not accompany the other six of their buddies. They were wild caught and sat in these tiny cages for up to ten years.
SAAV negotiated their freedom and then they went up to Rita Miljo's baboon sanctuary at Phalaborwa.
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The yellow mongoose curls up with its tail around its body and turns its body towards the sun to warm up in the mornings.
Hardcover; 240 pages; photographs of the Kalahari meerkats and the Little Karoo meerkats; Publisher New Holland Publishers, 2016
ISBN 1921517654, 9781921517655
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YOU ARE VISITING THE WILD WEB SITE OF THE MEERKAT MAGIC CONSERVATION PROJECT AND MEERKAT MAGIC MOMENTS http://www.meerkatmagic.com - YOUR WILDLIFE FRIENDLY INFORMATION PORTAL WATCH WILD MEERKATS / SURICATES AT THE MEERKAT MAGIC CONSERVATION PROJECT IN THE MEERKAT MAGIC VALLEY RESERVE AROUND OUDTSHOORN WESTERN CAPE SOUTH AFRICA WITH GRANT M. MC ILRATH - A.K.A - THE MEERKAT MAN - BEWARE OF COPY-KATS / IMITATIONS WITH PRETEND RESEARCHER GUIDES AND TAME / FED / HANDLED MEERKATS / SURICATES - GRANT M. MC ILRATH - A.K.A - THE MEERKAT MAN HAS BEEN RESEARCHING WILD AND FREE MEERKATS AS A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL CONSERVATIONIST AND INTERNATIONALLY PUBLISHED RESEARCH BIOLOGIST FULL TIME IN THE WILD SINCE 1993 AND ONGOING! FOR A PARTIAL LIST OF HIS INTERNATIONALLY PUBLISHED SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH ON MEERKATS /SURICATES press here.
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WE TAKE YOU BEHIND THE SCENES AND SCIENCE!
HAVE YOU WATCHED MEERKAT MANOR OR OTHER MEERKAT / SURICATE FILMS - NOW WATCH MEERKATS / SURICATES FOR REAL IN THE WILD HERE! - PRESS HERE FOR TOUR INFORMATION -
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ALL MEERKAT / SURICATE STUDY ANIMALS AT THE MEERKAT MAGIC CONSERVATION PROJECT ARE WILD AND FREE ROAMING AND UNFED AND UNCAPTURED AND NEVER HANDLED!
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PLEASE RATHER WATCH THEM IN THE WILD WHERE THEY BELONG...