- Tiny Wilson was shunned by his real mother as the runt of the litter
- Staff at animal sanctuary in Lincolnshire introduced him to Chihuahua
- Kimi began to feed the meerkat and now the pair are inseparable
A baby meerkat which was expected to die after being abandoned is now being reared by an unusual adoptive mother – a pet Chihuahua.
Tiny Wilson was born on January 20 – but was immediately shunned by his real mother as the runt of the litter.
Dennis Drew, 30, owner of Mablethorpe Seal and animal Sanctuary, in Lincolnshire had the idea of introducing him to his colleague’s pet Chihuahua Kimi – who was going through a phantom pregnancy at the time. She has reared him as her own ever since.
Close: Within days Wilson became bigger and stronger and Kimi took over as his mother believing the meerkat was her own puppy
Mr Drew had the idea after overhearing a staff member talk about Kimi – who was going through a phantom pregnancy at the time.
He introduced Wilson to the dog – who was lactating as part of her phantom pregnancy – and was amazed when the meerkat fed from her.
Within days Wilson became bigger and stronger and Kimi took over as his mother believing the meerkat was her own puppy.
After nearly two months together, the pair have forged an inseparable bond. Wilson now follows 18 month-old Kimi around wherever she goes, hitches a ride on her back – and the cute pair can often be seen curled up in a dog basket together.
Mr Drew said it was an ‘incredible’ moment when Kimi began feeding Wilson.
‘It was touch and go because I only know one other place who have successfully hand-reared meerkats,’ he said.
‘He took to the milk and within a few days Kimi had literally taken over as mother. He started to become bigger and stronger and now he is doing fantastic. The two are pretty much inseparable now and Wilson follows Kimi wherever she goes and [they] curl up in the basket together.
‘Kimi even gets very protective and will growl if anybody goes near Wilson – I have worked with animals for over five years and I have never seen anything like this before.’
He said the meerkat is on solids now and that he was looking to reintroduce Wilson back to the family who rejected him.
Ms Clark said Wilson had even begun to show signs of acting like a dog. ‘He craves human attention and will sit on the sofa for a stroke and watch TV,’ she said.
‘It’s something you wouldn’t be able to do with any other meerkats at the sanctuary. When the doorbell goes and Kimi barks at the door – he will sit between her legs and do the same.
‘I’m really going to miss him when he gets reintroduced to the other meerkats because he feels part of the family now.’