TAKE That have taken up residence at Moreton Morrell College – or at least their meerkat namesakes.
Gary, Jason, Mark and Howard are the newest arrivals at the college’s Animal Centre – having moved into a purpose-built enclosure constructed by staff and students.
The meerkats – known to many through a well-known advert – are fed a varied diet of vegetables, fruit, mealworms, locusts, cockroaches and even a day-old chick each for dinner.
And while their den is kept between 25 and 30 degrees, they are well-adapted to British weather as they were born at All Things Wild in Evesham.
Head of animal welfare and vet nursing, Philippa Gerrard said: “It’s been in the pipeline for a few years and when I took over as head of department it was something I wanted to do.
“Our construction department got their students to come and build the enclosure for us, the carpentry students helped build the shed and our animal management students built the lookout post, designed the enclosure and are on ‘unit duties’ where they work at the Animal Centre.
“We wanted our students to be prepared for the industry when they left us and so many places now have meerkats – they can go into the industry and already know how to look after meerkats.”
The meerkats join exotic species such as orcupines, raccoon dogs, marmosets and bird-eating spiders, and more common residents like rabbits, tortoises, cats, pigs and chickens at the Animal Centre.