Someone stole a meerkat from the Perth Zoo because he thought it would 'be cool as a pet'

Perth Zoo

One person fell in love with a meerkat on his trip to the zoo and actually did what most people would only joke about: he took it home with him.

Less than 24 hours before a baby meerkat was officially introduced to the public, it disappeared from the Perth Zoo in Australia. After the meerkat went missing, zookeepers believed it was either taken by a predator or stolen, so they began searching for it.

Two days later, the meerkat was found in Beverley, which is over 80 miles from Perth. The meerkat was taken by Jesse Ray Hooker, who thought the animal would "be cool as a pet." He scooped up the animal from its enclosure and put it in a cooler bag, playing loud music to hide the its yelps for help. "[He thought] it was very cute indeed," Chad Silver, Hooker's lawyer, said. "He fell in love with it." Technically, he's not wrong, but it's also not a reason to take an animal from the zoo.


RELATED: People can't stop laughing at this video of Japanese zoo employees practicing a lion escape drill

After the meerkat was returned, the zoo posted a photo of the animal on Instagram.

Once he was returned, the zoo was worried they might have problems reintroducing him to his family. "He was very stressed and tired and hungry, just like any bub that's been away from mum," Senior vet Simone Vitali said when he was returned. "But after an evening of getting his favorite foods and getting a bit of warmth and a bit of quiet, he's really bounced back quite well, so we're quite happy with his progress so far."

Now the meerkat is now doing just fine. "Our meerkat kit, Salama, is doing well with the rest of the meerkat mob. He is growing fast and currently weighs around 500 grams," Perth Zoo's executive director Wendy Attenborough told The West Australian.

RELATED: Why this zoo is trying to talk Toys R Us mascot 'Geoffrey the Giraffe' out of retirement

Hooker was fined $4,000 for taking the animal. He also wrote an apology letter and offered to do community service at the Perth Zoo. According to Attenborough, the zoo decided they "will not be taking up his offer to do community work at Perth Zoo." That's probably a good call.

Now that the meerkat is back at the zoo, everyone can enjoy his cuteness — as long as you look but don't touch.

popular


Hollywood is finally moving closer to equality. The past few years have seen a growing number of films starring, written by and directed by women. There's still a lot of progress yet to be made, of course. But there's one area where women have been kicking butt and taking names for decades: action films. Ironically, action films are stereotyped as the launching pad of the manliest of manly men: Schwarzenegger, The Rock, Clint Eastwood, Sylvester Stallone and so on. But some of the biggest action hits, both critically and commercially, are led by women.

If you're looking to expand your home video library for the holidays or just searching for a great holiday playlist while taking out some healthy aggression, here are 12 of our all-time favorite films featuring strong women front and center.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

One in five pregnancies end in miscarriage. It's a sad and heartbreaking experience, but there still is a lot to learn from going through something so tragic. Beyoncé recently shared what she learned from her miscarriages in an "ask me anything" published in the January 2020 issue of Elle Magazine.

A fan asked Beyoncé if she was disappointed she didn't win awards for Lemonade and Homecoming. Beyoncé said her miscarriages helped put it in perspective. "I began to search for deeper meaning when life began to teach me lessons I didn't know I needed. Success looks different to me now. I learned that all pain and loss is in fact a gift," she said in Elle Magazine.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Even though 68% of women in America where size 14 or above, plus sized women tend to draw more heat for the outfits that they wear, especially if those outfits are even remotely racy. Earlier this week, Lizzo was spotted at a LA Lakers game wearing the dress heard round the internet. Dubbed the "thong dress," Lizzo's t-shirt dress was straightforward in the front, but the back featured cutouts featuring her thong and fishnet stockings.

During the game, Lizzo twerked when the Laker Girls danced to her song "Juice," giving the crowd a full view of her ensemble.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

The Miss America pageant was started in 1921, but women of color were barred from participating until 1940. It took another 30 years for the first black woman to participate in the pageant in 1970. In 1983, Vanessa Williams became the first black woman to win Miss America. Now, the winners of all four major beauty pageants are all black women.

Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa was crowned Miss Universe, making this the first time in history that Miss America, Miss USA, Miss Teen USA, and Miss Universe are all black women. Tunzi is the first black woman to win Miss Universe since 2011, when Leila Lopes took home the crown.


Keep Reading Show less