That was the situation faced by the filmmakers of a new mammal-reality series on Animal Planet called Meerkat Manor.
According to one of the scientists who helped produce the show, Pam Bennett-Wallberg, during the ten years it took to study the two rival mobs of African meerkat families that star in the show, the highly social animals became so habituated to having humans around, they treated them as if they were rocks.
In Bennett-Wallbergs words, Meerkats are so intelligent, they figure out right away whether another creature is predator or prey, and when they dont, they just ignore them from then on.
Bennett-Wallberg says the social intelligence of meerkats lends them to highly dramatic interactions, with such turns of betrayal and family politics, that the show becomes highly mesmerizing and addictive viewing.
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