Rascals (RR)

Rascals mobbing a monitor lizard, 2012

Rascals mobbing a monitor lizard, 2012

In 1998 Vivian females and wild males combined to start a new group that rapidly grew. The original dominant female Splash and dominant male Kine were killed by predators, but the group has very successfully reestablished after being reduced to 7 meerkats all under 18 months with the then 11 months old dominant female Yeca. She and the dominant male Spofl were also predated, and the group was then headed by Blondie. All Rascals males dispersed after the immigration of Frisky males, and a succession of wild males, of which Grus and companions eventually stayed. The group barely grew over a long time, but a litter of six pups boosted their numbers. Female dominance switched twice, to a young female, Sancerre. She and Grus brought the group back to its former strength, growing it steadily over the years. The break came with the drought of 2013 that changed many of our groups: Grus died, probably of old age, and several adult males joined Kung Fu, leaving Rascals without a dominant male for several months until Gooch established dominance. Later that year, Sancerre disappeared, at the end of a pregnancy, without a trace. Edna May became her successor as dominant female, and she was joined by Kung Fu male Hankson as new dominant male, while Gooch was away roving. One month later he was replaced by Ewoks male Lorax. He and Edna May cemented the group’s stability until Lorax succumbed to a snake bite in 2015 – leaving the dominant position again to Hankson. He soon was displaced by Bruce, who however succumbed to TB and was followed by rover Drachentöter (a.k.a. Stumpy) as a dominant male.

The Rascals dominant females have a reputation of winning all weights records when pregnant – both Sancerre and now Edna May regularly exceed 1000 g before giving birth.

The Rascals live south of the main road on farmland.

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