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Mobbed by Meerkats at the Wellington Zoo

Wellington Zoo meerkatWe all had requirements for our ’round-the-world (RTW) trip.

For Dad: a road trip around New Zealand.  In progress.

For Mom: New Year’s Eve in Sydney.  Check.

For Delaney: a week in London.  Done.

And for me…

A meerkat encounter in Wellington, New Zealand.

“It tickles, it tickles!” I quietly shrieked.  Meerkats scurried underneath the sack that covered my legs.  Cameras were clicking away, even from those who weren’t in the encounter.  Next to me was a five-year-old girl with her grandmother, Dad to my left.  We were in a cute, African-inspired enclosure filled with a mob of meerkats.

This is my version of heaven.

meerkat encounter Wellington Zoo

“Smile,” Mom said.  I turned toward her and managed to get a meerkat on my lap to look at the camera.  Meerkats crawled all over me, trying to eat the grass on my lap or burrow in my ears.

“Meerkats are from the mongoose family,” the zoo employee explained.  I know, I thought.  I also knew that they are found in Africa’s wild deserts and grow to be 9 to 12 inches…and that meerkats weigh up to 2.2 pounds, females typically larger than the malesand that a group or family of meerkats is called a mob.  I knew all this from research I’d done after discovering the show Meerkat Manor.  “They’ll try to burrow in your nostrils or ears if you let them,” continued the zoo keeper.

I let a meerkat play with my hair, and I rubbed one’s back.  Why are meerkats just so cute?  You tell me.  My 30 minutes enjoying the precious meerkats ended too soon.  I stood up, the meerkats jumping out of my lap.  I said goodbye to all of them, not wanting it to end.

The only thing that could be better than a meerkat encounter in a zoo, is one in the African wild. 

Looking for more Things to Do in New Zealand? Consider these:

Agrodome sheep show: Don’t Miss the Agrodome Sheep Show in Rotorua

Maori “hangi” dinner: Maori People, the Original Kiwis

Bungee jumping: No Regrets! Bungee Jumping in New Zealand

Bike ride in Wanaka: Family Bike Ride in New Zealand has Bloody Ending

World’s steepest street: Baldwin Street: World’s Steepest in New Zealand

Hot Water beach: 3 Tips for Visiting New Zealand’s Hottest Beach

Looking for the Ultimate Travel Inspiration? Order The Passport Project TODAY!

The Passport Project: Two Sisters Ditch Middle School for a Life-Changing Journey Around the World [$16.99, 346 pages, 5.5 x 8.5, b&w paperback, ISBN: 978-1-7377438-1-1;    $9.99, ebook, ISBN: 978-1-7377438-0-4] is available at most major online booksellers.

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