Friends login
Friends burrow

Win a FKMP membership!

We are glad to announce Azalea as the winner of Roving Roulette, and Susan W. as the winner of the Schnitzeljagd!


See answers here.


It was exciting to the last minute: A few people had the same number of correct answers to Roving Roulette, but it was Azalea's guess on the number of life history entries of the top dominant female that decided the game in her favour - even though she was one of the last to submit her answers. Azalea has become a pup member for free, selecting the Starsky/Aztec/Hoax group.


The Schnitzeljagd saw an even closer final - two participants had exactly the same number of correct answers, and they both researched very well. We had to decide to make a final round, with a "guesstimate" question for the two finalists, and let luck decide. Susan, who joined the Friends burrow in the meantime as a Whiskers Friend, has now chosen the Vivian as her 2nd group. But also Tara, the second finalist, was able to join the FKMP, with the Young Ones/Avatar group.


Congratulations to Azalea and Susan - and a "thank you" to all other participants!


You're not one of the winners? Check out the answers to the questions below, to see how you fared. And check back here occasionally - there will be more contests!

And those were the two contests:

  • Roving Roulette: a game of chance for those who like to rove... You'll know some answers, but have to guess others.
  • Schnitzeljagd - Scavenger hunt: for the experienced diggers of meerkat knowledge on the kalahari-meerkats.com website - tell us where to find the reply to our questions.


Roving Roulette

1st Question: Name 3 of the top ten well known rovers in the project’s history? You can only give 3 names.

Hint: Some were featured in Meerkat Manor.

The top 10 rovers in the KMP's life history are (with their total number of entries in the life history file):
VYM019 – PIPPIN – 571 entries
VVM027 – ZAZU – 557 entries
VDM037 – HECTOR – 530 entries
VYM025 - MOPPET  - 478 entries
VYM005 - STINKER – 472 entries
VYM024 – DORF – 461 entries
VVM015 - BASIL (D) – 407 entries
VYM047 – RIK – 402 entries
VVM033 – YOSSARIAN – 378 entries
VVM036 – ATTILA – 337 entries

Of these, Stinker (Sondheim), Basil (Big Cy) and Yossarian are well known from Meerkat Manor.

2nd Question: Of the current roving males who are active in the project now, who is the top rover?


Of all males who currently roam the project's land, Zaphod (VVM032) is by far the most active, with currently 311 entries in the LH file. He is followed by Alexander (VVM037, ex-dominant male of Young Ones, currently roving) who has 277 entries. These two males are the oldest in the project - so they had time on their side. Harvey (VRRM064, 202 entries and roving), and Teabag (VYM113, 173 entries, he recently became dominant of Elveera) are on third and fourth position.

3rd Question: In the history of the project (1993 – Oct 2007) which male is the all time top rover?
Hint: I have a connection to Aragorn of Young Ones and Pronker of Mel's Mob - even though I have normal size feet.

This question was hard to guess - as it needs a bit of combination: The name of this (in)famous meerkat is Pippin (VYM019). "Pippin" and "Aragorn" are both figures out of J.R.Tolkien's novel "The Lord of the Rings" - and both are Young Ones meerkats. The meerkat Pippin has normal feet though, while the hobbit Pippin has hobbit-size (i.e. huge flat hairy) feet. Regular visitors of the AP forum and Mel's Mob will surely know the third Pippin, a.k.a. Pipster - Pronker's dog.

4th Question: Which dominant female in the project has the highest number of entries in the Life Histories (1993 - Oct 2007)?

The female with the highest number of life history entries is not Mabili (VDF005), the long-time dominant of Drie Doring (123 entries). It is the current oldest female and dominant of Vivian, Rhian (VVF029). Rhian has 165 entries - "collected" first with repeatedly being evicted while her mother Vivian still ruled, but later mainly with her pregnancies and births. A full pregnancy cycle usually gives six entries in the LH file: SOES (start of oestrus, when the dominant male starts mate-guarding) - EOES (end of oestrus, when the male stops mate-guarding) - FPREG (when pregnancy is first noted) - BIRTH (the actual birth) - SLAC (start of lactation) - ELAC (end of lactation).

5th Question: Can you guess how many entries she has?
Hint: Pick a number between 1 and 300.

The answer to this question is 165 entries (see question 4). Answers varied from 30 to 300 - this was the answer to tip the scales!

6th Question: Which son of Flower Whiskers was the youngest to help found a new group?

This was partly a guessing question - because it is not widely known that the Hoax group was founded in January 2007 - two months before the Aztecs were founded. The two last sons of Flower Whiskers, Suggs (VWM109) and Busta (VWM111), were involved in the founding of the two groups, respectively. Murray (VWM122) was surely the youngest to found a new group (he was part of the Aztecs, but recently returned to the Whiskers) - but he was not a son of Flower, but a grand-son. This question still seemed to be the easiest - together with the first question, where many participants made 2 or even 3 points.


1st Question:  What is the name of the juvenile rover, who came a long way to us from Van Zylsrus instead of the potjie, find him here:

Answer: Beetle
The name of the wild juvenile male, brought from Van Zylsrus to the farm, was “Beetle” (VWM001). He was brought to the farm by a lady who claimed he was wild-caught, and the people she got him from said they would eat him (i.e. put him into the potjie, a South African cauldron-type pot used to simmer delicious food on glowing embers) if she didn't buy him for 5 Rand (1$) - which turned out to be a hoax. He was set free near the newly forming Whiskers group and joined them. He led the live of a rover until he was able to establish himself as dominant male of the Whiskers after the founder males left. However, after an influx of Vivian males in 2001, Beetle left and got dominance again of the newly formed Hobgoblin splinter group. After two months, all Hobgoblin males dispersed, and the splinter with Beetle was no longer followed.

Schnitzeljagd path:

  • Description of the male who joined Whiskers instead of the potjie - read here.
  • His name - read here.

2nd Question: I’m named after native flora, had seven pups but only six of these:

Answers: Ziziphus or Vialli - six nipples/mammae
Ziziphus (VAF002), born in the Avatar group and one of the founding females of the famous Lazuli group, was named after a group of spiny shrubs of the genus Ziziphus (buffalo thorn). She gave birth to seven pups named after Snowwhite's seven dwarves, and all pups survived the first few weeks until foraging started - irrespective of the fact that meerkats have only six nipples and no other females allolactated (i.e. were able to suckle pups) at this time. Two of these pups, Grumpy and Sleepy, later founded the Moomins group - making the "7 dwarves" and thus their mother well known to many meerkat fans.
Another female who gave birth to seven pups was Vialli, the leader of the Whiskers after Holly's death and before Flower's rise to dominance. This is mentioned in the Meerkat Manor book by Tim Clutton-Brock. However, Primula vialli, the orchid primrose, is not native to the Kalahari (click here for picture). We still accepted this answer though.

Schnitzeljagd path:

  • Ziziphus the Lazuli founder - read here.
  • Vialli in Whiskers - read here.
  • Female giving birth to seven pups, suckling with six nipples - read here.
  • Ziziphus being a local plant genus - Ziziphus mucronata is found in the Kalahari (KMP plant list here, description here).

3rd Question: The youngest female to give birth in the project was 9 months old – name her:

Answer:  Leia Young Ones, a subordinate female.
At the age of 9 month the Young Ones subordinate female “Leia” (VYF052) gave birth to one surviving pup. She is the youngest meerkat mother ever, because meerkat females usually reach maturity only around the age of one year, and many don't give birth until they're two years old.  
First the group deserted the pup and mother, but a few days later an evicted female and two rovers came to help babysit. The whole splinter made it back to the main group - with the pup surviving! Leia later joined the QQ group, but was assumed predated soon after. Mickey Weasel (VYM065), the pup, became a rover and later emigrated to the Vivian group as part of a rover coalition.

Schnitzeljagd path:

  • Leia being the youngest mother - read here.

4th Question: I was the only really tame meerkat at the project and preferred a dashing rover to a steady date.  What is my name and id#:

Answer: Vivian  VVF001
The name of the semi-domesticated female meerkat, who was brought to the project from the Middlepüts area (at the border to Botswana) is “Vivian” with the ID “VVF001”. Vivian was released in the Drie Doring range and stayed with a group of three Drie Doring brothers, but they left her. She gave birth to a litter of four, and successfully raised three of the pups all on her own. One of the males returned a year later, and the Vivian group started to grow - finally. Vivian became one of the most successful females of the project.

Schnitzeljagd path:

  • Read more about Vivian here.
  • This was partly a guessing question - because it was not said on the FKMP site which of the early meerkats was tame. None of the later meerkats were tame (read more here).

5th Question: I played the dom-M, Houdini of the Zappa on Meerkat Manor?  What is my real name and where can my photograph be found on the Friends site.

Answer: Dougal Zappa
“Dougal” Zappa (VZZM025) was the name of the male meerkat who played the character of the dominant male of the Zappa group in the 3rd season of Meerkat Manor, displacing the long-term dominant male Frank (a.k.a. Glufs VYM102). Dougal remained dominant until his death in early 2007.

Schnitzeljagd path:

  • Dougal's picture is here (right side menu bottom picture).
  • His name is not noted with the picture, but regular visitors of kalahari-meerkats.com have seen this close-up before, in the part of the gallery that is now broken. His name "Dougal ZZ" was given there.




By participating in either the Roving Roulette, or the Schnitzeljagd, you agree to these terms:

  • The first person to submit all correct answers to each of the contests wins a free pup membership for one year, and will be able to choose one of the meerkat groups available at the launch of the Friends programme (click here). There will be one free membership for the winner of the Roving Roulette, and one for the Schnitzeljagd.
  • If no one submits the correct answers to all questions of one or both of the contests by the time the contests close, the prize will go to the person with the highest amount of correct answers, for each of the two contests.
  • Each person can participate only once; if someone participates more than once, only the first submission will be counted. The risk of not being able to participate, for technical or other reasons, remains with the participant, not with the FKMP.
  • If a winner has subscribed to be a Friend already, he or she will receive information on one additional group. The two contests cannot be won by the same person; if one person is in the first place of both contests, he or she will get one pup membership, and the person on the second place of Roving Roulette will receive another pup membership.
  • The winners will be presented on the kalahari-meerkats.com website.
  • The prizes are not paid in cash, and there is no recourse to correspondence or legal action.

Become a Friend
Friends membership form
Gift memberships
Meerkat Superstar raffle
Membership levels
Select your group
Renew membership
Small print
Friends FAQ
Top of page Copyright: Kalahari Meerkat Project - Webmaster: www.pangolin.li - site best viewed with Firefox