Looks like Meerkat Love

The cute Kalahari critters have touched a nerve--and told us something about ourselves

Chad Henning / Animal Planet

Big-eyed, social and often on two legs, meerkats are perfect human surrogates..

People will fall in love, on a TV or movie screen, with a creature they would gladly kill were they to find it in their kitchen. So audiences have cheered on Rodentia from Mickey to the aspiring chef of Ratatouille. So, too, with the social, saucer-eyed, erect-standing mongoose relatives of Meerkat Manor, who have followed in the paw prints of The Lion King's Timon to raise their species' star in Hollywood. The Kalahari nature show is Animal Planet's biggest hit, a saga of turf wars, sex, betrayal and cuddly pups. It's manna from TV heaven: all the drama of human life,...

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