I’m currently working on a book for an American publisher about baby animals as they hide. One of the illustrations shows baby prairie dogs, which remind me of meerkats in some of the ways they behave. A while ago I was fortunate to visit the Kalahari desert in Southern Africa. The wildlife was fascinating and here I am holding a tame meerkat. She had been adopted by a scientist who had found her abandoned. She had a slightly deformed jaw line which can be seen in the photo. They have ferocious teeth and devour anything that moves so long as they can get it into their mouths. The meerkat followed us like an eager little dog as we walked through the dunes and the scientist explained that she was happy to feed while we were around her because, as we were standing upright, she thought we were on the lookout for predators. Watching her dispatch large, hard-shelled insects in one swift crunch was an awe inspiring sight.

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