back to article Oz lad 'fell in love with' baby meerkat, nicked it from zoo, took it out for a romantic Big Mac

Ever found yourself overcome by cuteness while gawping at sad, caged animals that you just had to take one home with you? Us neither, but that's exactly what 23-year-old Jesse Hooker did on a trip to Perth Zoo in Australia. The tourist attraction reported that a one-month-old meerkitten had gone missing on 19 September, …

  1. Symon Silver badge
    Devil

    He got off lightly compared to Tufty.

    https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/meerkats-eat-squirrel-bristol-zoo-2190676

    Turns out that they are nasty little bastards.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/meerkats-revealed-as-the-most-murderous-mammal-known-to-science-a7335741.html

    p.s. OK, Tufty was a red squirrel. BTW, it's illegal to release a grey squirrel back into the wild, so, even if the thing had been saved at the zoo, they'd have had to kill it anyway.

  2. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Pint

    Re: He got off lightly compared to Tufty.

    Grey squirrels are disease-riddled cretins that wiped out most of the native red squirrels. I absolutely support these Meerkats doing their national duty to stamp out consume these fluffy menaces.

  3. Semtex451 Silver badge

    Re: He got off lightly compared to Tufty.

    Trouble is they'd eat the red ones given half a chance. We need to train up badgers to eat only grey ones, badgers need the PR. Meerkats PR budget must be astronomical.

  4. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    Re: He got off lightly compared to Tufty.

    The badgers will need a good PR firm to represent them. To most people, they're just giant cretins spreading TB everywhere.

  5. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Re: He got off lightly compared to Tufty.

    Have you never seen the Badger Badger Badger song by Weebl!???

    Reinstall Flash in your browser and leave the web page open for a minimum of 1 hour!

  6. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

    Re: Meerkat PR budget

    It IS astronomical, thanks to Disney's Timon from "The Lion King". They exploited the heck out of that character (along with his confidant Pumbaa).

  7. VeganVegan
    Childcatcher

    Re: He got off lightly compared to Tufty.

    Curious that you bring up badgers and TB, as red squirrels harbor the leprosy bacteria: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-37949557

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis versus Mycobacterium leprae, not much of a choice.

  8. Nick Kew Silver badge

    Re: He got off lightly compared to Tufty.

    The badgers will need a good PR firm to represent them. To most people, they're just giant cretins spreading TB everywhere.

    News in the last couple of days: government-commissioned study finds it's mostly cows spreading TB. Not badgers. Which should come as no surprise to anyone given that TB is a disease of poverty and really bad conditions - which cows suffer a lot worse than wild animals.

  9. jake Silver badge

    Re: He got off lightly compared to Tufty.

    Since when did badgers and grey squirrels suffer from congenital iodine deficiency syndrome? Or did I miss yet another meaningless Internet meme?

  10. jake Silver badge

    Re: He got off lightly compared to Tufty.

    My cows do NOT live in worse conditions than wild animals, TYVM.

  11. Symon Silver badge
    Pint

    Re: He got off lightly compared to Tufty.

    "Or did I miss yet another meaningless Internet meme?"

    Nope, you're suffering from a mild dose of etymological fallacy disease, whereby you hold that a word can only have its historic meaning, rather than a different present day definition. For example, I imagine that you think "since" and "while" can only be used as temporal connectives, not as logical ones (meaning, roughly, 'because' and 'although'), as (since?) that was their original meaning.

    http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/001256.html

  12. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Re : Weebl

    It's not as good as the "Only in Kenya" one. Once that gets into my head I can't get rid of it.

  13. Nolveys Silver badge

    Re: He got off lightly compared to Tufty.

    red squirrels harbor the leprosy bacteria

    Red squirrels make for good eatin', you can really taste the leprosy.

  14. Glen 1 Bronze badge

    Re: Re : Weebl

    Forget Norway! (More like Snoreway!)

  15. Pedigree-Pete Bronze badge
    Pint

    Favorite Squirrel clip.....

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wL-NNWoblxI

    @ about 1'20". PP

    >>It's Friday, at least here.

  16. Rich 11 Silver badge

    Re: He got off lightly compared to Tufty.

    I absolutely support these Meerkats doing their national duty

    What do you mean, 'national duty'? Meerkats aren't British, they're Russian!

    (At least I'm sure I saw that in a documentary somewhere. Bloody tons of meerkat documentaries on the telly, every 15 minutes at least.)

  17. jake Silver badge

    Re: He got off lightly compared to Tufty.

    I'm fully aware of the more modern uses of the term "cretin", but none of those seem to apply to wildlife doing wildlife things in wildlife time. Thus I assumed TOA meant the archaic usage ... barring some new-fangled usage that I am unaware of. Thus my question.

    While you asked about other word usage, I can't be arsed reply since it had naught to do with my question.

  18. david 12 Bronze badge

    Re: He got off lightly compared to Tufty.

    >mostly cows spreading TB.<

    Which is why it's called Bovine TB, (mycobacterium bovis) and why Britain had such high levels of BTB in humans until the belated acceptance of pasteurization. Like mycobacterium tuberculosis, BVT can cause Turbicles or other symptoms in humans. It's not as contagious in humans: most people only get it from milk.

    But there is an eradication campaign, and cows with BVT are culled, so I would think that is would be natural for farmers to be pissed off about even small rates of infection from badgers.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Simples!

  20. Adam 1 Silver badge

    "Obviously life outside its mob just doesn't compare"

    Bravo

  21. Semtex451 Silver badge
    Coat

    He should have made it buy some car insurance, the basturds.

    (I must type really slowly or something)

  22. adam payne Silver badge

    Hooker has been fined AU$4,000. He wrote to Perth Zoo offering to perform his community service there, which was politely declined.

    Politely declined and then thought about banning him for life.

  23. Rich 11 Silver badge

    The other option was throwing him to the lions.

  24. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    The real question

    Did he take it to McDonalds because that was where he was going for a snack on the way home? Or did he sit it at the chair opposite and buy it a burger?

    After all, I've seen them eating at restaurants in those bitesize documentaries between the programs. As well as wearing smoking jackets and eating popcorn at the cinema.

    Also according to said documentaries if you spray yourself with Lynx - women will want to be near you, rather than recoil in horror. And Ferrero Rocher are apparently nice...

    Although on that last one, they are in fact offered at the Ambassador's Reception. The Times did an interview with the Russian ambassador in London, and he had a tray of the vile things in his waiting room.

  25. Tom 38 Silver badge

    Re: The real question

    2 for 1 with a meerkat, everyone knows that.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: The real question

    Ferrero Rocher are nice you uncultured commoner! How very dare you! I fart in your general direction! Your mother is a hamster, and your father smells of elderberries!

  27. msknight Silver badge

    Re: The real question

    Do you mind @AC ... this is a technical forum. The insult should therefore be appropriate.

    "Hey, Laserlips. Your Momma was a snow blower. Thrrrrrwp."

  28. Tigra 07 Silver badge

    Re: msknight

    Careful, you might trigger someone...

  29. David 132 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Re: The real question

    msknight - thanks for the Short Circuit reference, though I wonder how many here will get it.

    By coincidence, I was in Astoria just the other day, and drove over the Megler bridge (the one Johnny 5 parachuted from). “Stephanie’s” house is for sale at the moment, by the way.

    Also there - the school and house used in Kindergarten Cop, and the house from the Goonies, although in the latter case the owner has got so tired of trespassers photographing the house he’s shrouded it in tarpaulins and posted threatening “POLICE WILL BE CALLED” signs.

  30. msknight Silver badge

    Re: The real question

    David132 Well, someone either didn't get it, or didn't like it :-)

    Re. The Goonies house... sounds like a nerd who doesn't want to share. I mean... why else buy The Goonies house! - *sigh* - those were the days.

    And yes, I did watch Short Circuit to the end, from the robot fight scene, shortly after making the post :-)

  31. jake Silver badge

    Re: The real question

    "Ferrero Rocher"

    That reminds me, I've got to clean the litterbox.

  32. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
    Happy

    Re: The real question

    jake,

    Well played sir! Not only did I laugh out loud, but in my efforts not to disturb the office, it came out like Muttley sniggering - which made me laugh even more.

    Saggerfrassin'-rassin'-Dick Dastardly!

  33. Rich 11 Silver badge

    Re: The real question

    That reminds me, I've got to clean the litterbox.

    Your cat shits gold foil?

  34. jake Silver badge

    Re: The real question

    No, cats don't shit gold foil ... but one wonders if you were never properly trained on the intended use of confections that some people incorrectly call "chocolate".

  35. msknight Silver badge

    He probably took it to MaccyD's...

    ...to show what animals in a cage really look like.

    (Wimpy fan ... Burger King at a push... but there's more nutrition in MaccyD's boxes than in their burgers as far as I'm concerned.)

    Old joke... what's the difference between a post and under graduate? The undergrad asks if you'd like fires with your Big Mac... the post grad asks if you want fries with your Whopper.

  36. Rich 11 Silver badge

    Re: He probably took it to MaccyD's...

    I'd definitely want fires with my Big Mac. There's nothing quite like an evening's entertainment in front of the fire, people screaming and running all over the place.

  37. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

    Obviously life outside its mob just doesn't compare.

    So are you saying that you *can't* compare the meerkat?

  38. Adam 1 Silver badge

    I thought it was simples enough

  39. Florida1920 Silver badge

    Cubicle rats

    Here in the States, meerkats work in offices. I saw it in a GEICO TV commercial, so it must be true.

  40. Winkypop Silver badge
    Alert

    Perth Zoo

    Maybe he should try taking "Simmo" home next time.

    Simmo the Estuarine Crocodile is between 50 and 70 years old, 4.7 m long and weighs about 500 kg.

    Better count you fingers, toes and legs.

  41. David 132 Silver badge

    Re: Perth Zoo

    Better count your fingers, toes and legs.

    I feel like that wouldn’t be difficult after stealing a crocodile. You could almost certainly represent your total number of remaining limbs/appendages using 1 binary bit.

  42. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    All meerkats are cute unless it is the vodacom moerkat.

    Only Saffers will understand this :)

  43. Sceptic Tank
    Flame

    Pot calling the cattle black

    Ok, so the yoof stole the meerkitten from the zoo. The zoo abducted a whole meerkat group from its natural habitat "underneath the African sky" and stuck them in a cage. Lad gets fine and community service. The zoo is left to perpetuate its cruelty to animals. Pfft!

  44. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Coat

    Re: Pot calling the cattle black

    1 - The Meerkats now live in a safe enclosure, not a cage.

    2 - The meerkats have guaranteed food for life - no hunting for it and going hungry when unsuccesful.

    3 - Fans - The meerkats will earn fans from people who will never see a real one otherwise - resulting in sponsorships and aid to their natural habitats.

    4 - Free medical care. They don't even have to pay National Insurance Contributions!

    5 - A guaranteed standard of living and protection from the elements, poachers, and natural predators (except thieves apparently).

    You can call that cruel, but it's a decent standard of living by a big stretch.

  45. jake Silver badge

    Re: Pot calling the cattle black

    "You can call that cruel, but it's a decent standard of living by a big stretch."

    Anthropomorphism isn't cute, or so my daughter informed us when she was about 9 years old.

  46. MJI Silver badge

    They stink

    Only found this out when a local garden centre had some on display.

    And they didn't even wear clothes, nor talk

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