Meet the fun, friendly and absolutely fantastic meerkat family of Oxfordshire! Being an animal-crazy lady myself, this experience had been calling my name since I began my placement here at Experience Days. You can imagine my excitement when the opportunity arose not only to see these cute furry creatures, but to be able to feed and interact with them up close!
It was the final experience of our Oxfordshire trip, so Gemma and I were eager to make the most of it. Millets Farm was incredibly easy to get to due to the vast number of signs in and around the Frilford area. As we entered the gates, we were welcomed by a huge centre filled with plenty of exciting things to take part in, including the falconry experiences. This makes it the perfect excuse for a day out!
We then followed the arrows along the path down towards Millets Falconry, located near the bottom of the field. We walked past a small cosy café and a fair few fairground rides (but, sadly, our ages meant the carousel was not an option!). The smiley gentleman at the welcoming desk was happy to take our bookings and show us the way to the meerkat enclosure. After passing quite a number of large, feathered creatures, we arrived at where the meerkats lived.
Alex was our meerkat expert for the day. He was incredibly knowledgeable, and happy to answer any questions our group had. Once we had all sat down on the wooden benches provided, the meerkats were quick to approach us! The little fellas were extremely unphased by us huge humans, and were straight up onto the benches and sniffing around our shoes (in one poor gentleman’s case, climbing into the trouser leg!)
We discovered that the little gathering of meerkats was in fact a family! (I know – adorable, right?) There was the mum, dad and their two children, Ron and Hermione. Magical! Hermione was hesitant to leave her post on top of the tree branch. We learnt this was because in the wild, meerkats would take turns overlooking the surrounding area for predators, and although nothing was going to harm them here in the farm centre, instinct is a huge part of these animals.
It was then that Alex brought out the grapes and peach pieces! The meerkats went crazy for the fruit and couldn’t wait to get a taste. We were able to use a pair of extra-long tweezers to feed the meerkats ourselves, they were then straight up onto our laps, and climbing over our shoulders to get to the food (don’t worry, they weren’t ever aggressive, just eager for food – which I can definitely relate to!)
The chicken, however, was the meerkats’ ultimate favourite snack – forget scorpions and beetles! After a few more facts and information regarding the family of meerkats, it was a sadly time to say goodbye to the meerkats at Millets Falconry. What an incredible and unforgettable experience! Gemma and I got some fantastic photos and will definitely be visiting again. Thanks again to Millets Falconry and to Alex for a great experience!