Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Vicks VapoRub eases integration

BBC reports: [edited]

The staff at Paultons Park near Romsey, Hampshire, were concerned that their two existing meerkats would fight with three new arrivals.

Livestock manager Geoff Masson said:

"It is normally extremely difficult to integrate new meerkats into an existing group - their usual instinct is to try to attack any newcomers. However, thanks to a suggestion from our vet, Kate Chitty, we were able to neutralise all odours by using a little Vicks VapoRub on the nose of each meerkat. The meerkats then all smelled the same to each other and the 'old guard' accepted the new arrivals."

The sociable and highly territorial animals originally come from southern Africa. A group of five or more meerkats is called a mob or a gang.

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