Meerkats!-

So what exactly is Timon?

Funny you ask, since I (Msondo) had no idea when I first laid my eyes on the little critter. By luck, however, I found out via this neat little Lion King toy somebody had that would tell you what species a character was by pointing the arrow to the character and pulling the string. Timon is a meerkat though, a type of African mammal.

Meerkats are a member of the mongoose family, which means they are immune to venom. They are carnivores, which makes Timon sort of a hypocrite when he says "Oy.. carnivores, I hate carnivores." But that is ok, because he was referring to the ones who eat animals like himself and his buddy Pumbaa. A meerkat's diet consists of bugs, mostly.. and other things like other small mammals and even snakes. They also eat things like fruit, nuts, and whatever else pleases their appetite. <Kimya> Hmmmm...

Other interesting facts about meerkats include that they are very smart, which probably explains why they are not on the endangered species list. They live in a colony system, similar to that of ants and bees. Working together in a team of hunters, guards, and baby-sitters, meerkats survive and flourish throughout the southern areas of Africa. For more information on meerkats please check out the links at the bottom of this page!

The Real Timon! Meerkat Tidbits-

Species: Suricata Suricatta

Meerkats are also referred to as Suricates, pronounced "Sur-ih-kate". In Swahili Suricate means 'Rock Cat', which holds true because meerkats tend to live in rocky burrows.

Other Names:

Many meerkat fans tend to refer to meerkats simply as 'kats.

Attitude:

Meerkats tend to be friendly creatures but they definitely do not make great pets because they destroy property. In fact, meerkats are very illegal to own in the United States.

Trivial Meerkat Info

Want some freaky information on meerkats that you will probably not find out anywhere else? Well check out these strange facts..

What does a meerkat sound like? They make a sort of low churr sound, almost like a pigeon. When they are angry they tend to make a loud sharp barking sound. If you would like to hear what they sound like check this out:

Meerkat Sound - meerkats.wav - 122 KB (Msondo)

What does a meerkat move like? They are very sleek and agile creatures. This is hinted of course by their slim ferret-like bodies. If you would like to see them in action check this out:

Meerkat Movie - meerkats.avi - 2.98 MB (Chui)

Baby meerkats are called meerkat kits by many. So that makes two nick-names, 'kats and 'kits!

That meerkat above is the REAL Timon! Thanks to Pam of www.meerkats.com for providing that photo! Pam runs Fellow Earthlings, a refuge for meerkats who need a home. She is THE meerkat authority in America. Here are some more photos Pam has sent:

real_timon.jpg This is the actual photo of the real Timon! He is nicely posed here.
kitkat1.jpg A very cute meerkat baby (kit) girl posed near a basket.
kitkat2.jpg Side shot of another cute kit standing, he seems to be practicing guarding his colony.
kitkat3.jpg A mother kat feeding her kits. Meerkats are very family oriented mammals.
kitkat4.jpg Family of meerkats playing around. Yes, they never grow out of playing!

Famous Meerkats!

Besides The Lion King, meerkats have had other great roles in movies and television shows. Here is a list of where you can find some screen shots of various meerkats, including Timon. And hey, if you have any information on a movie or television show we did not mention that did indeed show a meerkat, please email us!

Movies

The Lion King:

This is a given but we can not leave it out! Timon plays the most famous meerkat role ever in Disney's hit, the Lion King.

Tom And Huck:

Timon plays a small role at the beginning of the movie in a trailer like animated music video of 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight'. For those lucky enough to have seen this at the theaters, you probably remember this scene.

Fierce Creatures:

A very brief but unforgettable appearance, a small group of meerkats make their appearance on this hilarious British comedy. Also, if you look closely on the walls of some of the zoo keepers offices, you can see some photos of meerkats.

TV Shows

Timon and Pumbaa:

The hilarious television show Timon stars in, of course, is the forerunner of all television meerkat appearances.

Besides Timon, other 'kats such as Fred and Tatiana are introduced.

Meerkats United:

A BBC Documentary that ran several years back, this show proved Europeans with a great look at the world of meerkats.

Return to the Valley of the Meerkats:

One of the best wildlife documentaries ever! Look for this show on the Discover Channel. This one hour documentary provides a wealth of info on meerkats.

Meerkat Family Saga:

MFS is probably the best meerkat documentary to date. It is wonderfully directed, showing a story of one meerkat family and the struggle to survive. Digger, the star, becomes immortalized as his incredible journey to a new colony is caught on video.

Meerkat Junk!

So do you like meerkats? Would you like to have one to hold? Over the years various meerkat merchandise items have been released. Here are some of the things you may find:

Earth Buddies released two meerkat plush animals, an 11" adult and a 5" kit. These are sold at many zoos.

The Ft. Worth Zoo is currently selling meerkat pins, patches, T-Shirts, caps, shot glasses, pencils, refrigerator magnets, plush toys (Earth Buddies), and other pieces of merchandise for their Meerkat Mounds exhibit.

Fellow Earthlings is now selling a T-Shirt with meerkats on it via many zoos or by calling 1-800-537-0835. They have been produced by Harlequin Graphics.

If you are lucky you can find a set of 5 meerkats, one adult and four kits, for sale in a set. We have never seen it but it has been confirmed to be in existence.

There is also a shirt with several meerkats wearing sunglasses. This has only been scene once, by Msondo, and remains a mystery to us.

The Smithsonian Magazine also made a shirt a while back with their famous meerkat picture. They also sold a poster to the public as well.

There have been reports of a watch with some meerkats on the face. Meerkat at www.meerkat.org is reported to have this watch.

Msondo is looking to buy any of your unwanted meerkat junk! He collects it! If anybody out there has something that is listed (excluding the Ft. Worth Zoo stuff and the Earth Buddies plushies) or not listed (especially this stuff) please email him at: timon@meerkat.org.

Meerkat Links

Visit the Meerkat Mpango! The Meerkat Mpango is the best meerkat site on the net! This site, created by the meerkat himself, offers more information than you'll ever need on meerkats!

Meerkat.Com!

http://www.meerkat.org

Pam and Timon! Pam Wallberg runs Fellow Earthlings, a non-profit organization that helps fund her meerkat sanctuary in California. Her love for meerkats is well noted because she provided Disney with the actual model for Timon and is the global authority on meerkats.

Check out her site and adopt a meerkat!

http://www.meerkats.com

David Sauve's Meerkat Page! David Sauve runs another impressive meerkat site. He is well known in the Lion King community for his good humor, amazing fan art, and his love of meerkats!

Browse his site for some cool fan art, a meerkat picture archive, some meerkat media, and other stuff!

http://www.otterspace.com/~dsauve/meerkat.html

Meerkat Mounds! The Ft. Worth Zoo features one of the best meerkat exhibits in the world, providing any meerkat fan a great up close and personal view of the lives of meerkats!

http://www.rwnet.com/FWZoo/meerpr.html

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©kArAmU dEsIgNs - 98 - DiCoTiMe - HMS - By: Msondo