We hope the following information will help you get the most out of your meerkat adoption and answer some important questions for those of you wishing to book a visit with the meerkats.
WHAT IF I AM UNABLE TO VISIT BUT STILL WANT TO ADOPT A MEERKAT?
You need not visit to become an adoptive parent and join our "mob." Many of our adoptive parents are unable to visit the Center, yet still choose to support the meerkats through their "mob membership" adoption donation. We depend greatly upon our adoptive parents to assist us in providing ongoing care for our "wee ones" — so we hope you will consider an adoption even if it is not possible for you to visit. Along with your beautiful adoption portfolio and certificate, you will receive our quarterly newsletter, "Paw Prints," which keeps the extended members of our "mob" up to date on the meerkats and all the Fellow Earthlings' news.
I. ADOPTING AND VISITING:
1. HOW DO I SCHEDULE A VISIT WITH THE MEERKATS?
After your tax deductible donation to the meerkats is received, we will mail a beautiful Adoption Portfolio and Certificate to you or the gift recipient. The Portfolio contains all the information you'll need prior to your visit - directions to the Center, mandatory clothing, etc. Then, please select several dates that are convenient for you to visit and give us that information by email (preferably) or by telephone. We are open, by appointment, to our adoptive parents on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. We book visits very far in advance. Although at times we may have "last minute" openings available, please note that due to the private, exclusive nature of our visits, we are currently booking as much as one year in advance.
2. CAN I SCHEDULE A VISIT WITH THE MEERKATS AND MAKE MY DONATION WHEN I ARRIVE?
We are sorry, but the donation must be made prior to your visit. The donation can be made on our website via PayPal or you can send a check or money order to our post office box (below). Upon receipt of your adoption donation, we will send out the Adoption Portfolio including all the information you'll need before you visit.
3. IS IT POSSIBLE TO VISIT THE CENTER WITHOUT ADOPTING?
No. We are a private facility, not open to the general public. The Center is only open, by appointment, to our adoptive parents.
4. IS THE REQUESTED DONATION OF $100 A "PER PERSON" COST OR IS THE DONATION FOR FOUR PEOPLE?
The $100 tax deductible donation allows four people (or fewer) to visit.
5. SHOULD I INCLUDE TAX WITH THE ADOPTION DONATION?
No. Adoptions and donations are not taxable.
6. IS THERE AN EXPIRATION DATE ON MY VISIT?
No, there is no expiration date on the visit.
7. AFTER I ADOPT HOW MANY TIMES CAN I VISIT?
One adoption donation allows for one visit.
8. DO YOU EVER DISCOUNT THE DONATION FOR A SHORTER VISIT WITH THE MEERKATS?
No, for the benefit of the meerkats, we do not discount the donation.
9. WILL THERE BE OTHER ADOPTIVE PARENTS AT THE CENTER WHEN MY GROUP VISITS?
No, you'll have the whole Center to yourselves! For more information about the ADOPT program please Click Here!
10. HOW MANY PEOPLE MAY VISIT AT ONE TIME?
Our insurance allows 4 people (or fewer) to visit at one time.
11. HOW OLD MUST A CHILD BE TO VISIT?
Our insurance requires a child to be 8 years or older to visit. The child must be able to sit quietly for two hours. For the safety of the animals, please accurately judge your child's ability to do this.
12. WHAT CLOTHING MUST I WEAR TO VISIT?
To enter the enclosures all visitors MUST wear the following attire: (Visitors not properly attired will NOT be admitted to the enclosures.)
13. I WOULD LIKE TO BRING MY FATHER WITH ME WHEN I VISIT. HE USES A WALKER. WILL THAT BE A PROBLEM?
We send heart-felt apologies for not being handicapped accessible. As a private, non-profit organization our insurance requires all visitors to be extremely sure-footed, not only to enter the meerkat enclosures, but also to visit the Center. We are very sorry, but we can not accommodate visitors who use canes, walkers, wheelchairs, or need assistance walking.
We pride ourselves in providing the most natural environment possible for the meerkats. When visiting their "digs" please be aware that entering the enclosures involves negotiating stairs and very uneven terrain. For the safety of the people and the animals, all visitors must be extremely steady on their feet, be able to sit on the ground (or on very low (12") benches), and, stand up unassisted. Additionally, due to weather conditions and fragile burrows, weight restrictions will be enforced in some areas of the enclosures. We can't give you an exact weight limit because conditions vary seasonally. For the safety of all, we reserve the right to refuse entry to the Center to individuals who do not adhere to these restrictions.
14. WHAT IS THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO VISIT THE MEERKATS?
There is no "best" time to visit. All visits with the meerkats are magical. We are open May through September, by appointment. An internet search will give you typical temperatures for our area seasonally.
15. WHAT HAPPENS IF IT RAINS ON MY SCHEDULED VISITING DAY?
We have rain shelters so you may still visit. Be sure to bring very warm coats and hats during the winter months!!
16. WHAT IF I HAVE TO CANCEL MY RESERVATION?
If you must cancel your visit please give us, at least, two weeks notice. Each visit is a private experience. If you are not able to come, we need to schedule another group to benefit the meerkats. If you must cancel at the last minute we will try to fill the time slot. If we are not able to do so, we kindly request another donation be made if you want to re-schedule another visit.
17. WHAT HAPPENS IF I ADOPT A MEERKAT AND I HAVE LIMITED VISITING DATES THAT WILL WORK FOR ME?
If we are unable to accommodate the date and time that you prefer, we will happily refund your donation to the meerkats.
18. MAY WE VISIT IF SOMEONE IN OUR GROUP HAS A COLD?
No. To protect the meerkats, you must re-schedule your visit if a member of your group has any contagious ailment, is coughing or sneezing, or if anyone has been in contact with sick animals. THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.
19. I WORK FOR A VETERINARIAN AND MY HUSBAND WORKS AT A ZOO. ARE THERE ANY RESTRICTIONS FOR VISITORS IN THE ANIMAL CARE INDUSTRY?
Yes. We require all animal health care providers and zoo workers to wear shoes and clothing that are never worn at their place of work. This is mandatory and extremely important for the health of our animals. You must reschedule your visit if you have been in contact with sick animals.
20. MAY I BRING MY PET TO THE CENTER?
No. Our licenses and permits do not allow pets to visit the Center.
21. I AM INTERESTED IN VISITING YOUR CENTER WITH MY CLASSROOM. IS THAT POSSIBLE?
We are sorry, but the Center can only accommodate a maximum number of 4 visitors at one time.
22. IS IT POSSIBLE TO BOOK A PRIVATE VISIT FOR THE ENTIRE DAY?
Yes, with enough advance notice, we can customize a special full day experience. Please email us with your specifics and we will respond with availability and a quote for a full day private encounter with the meerkats.
II. ADOPTION PORTFOLIO AND MERCHANDISE:
1. HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO RECEIVE THE ADOPTION PORTFOLIO OR THE MERCHANDISE I ORDERED?
We pride ourselves in mailing the Adoption Portfolios and orders as soon as possible. Thus, you should receive your order within seven business days or less. However, please keep in mind, we are a small, volunteer organization and some orders may take a little longer to process.
2. MAY I MAKE MY DONATION OR PURCHASE MERCHANDISE BY CALLING THE CENTER?
We apologize for the inconvenience, but all credit card donations or purchases must be done on our website.
3. DO YOU SEND MERCHANDISE AND ADOPTIONS OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES?
Yes, we send merchandise and Adoptions all over the world. Please include an extra $10.00 to the stated shipping charges to cover the cost of international postage. US dollars only, please.
4. DO YOU SELL YOUR MEERKAT TEE SHIRTS, POSTERS, AND OTHER MERCHANDISE AT THE CENTER?
Yes. All proceeds from the sale of our merchandise go exclusively to caring for the meerkats.
5. CAN I USE MY CREDIT CARD TO BUY MERCHANDISE AT THE CENTER?
Although you may use your credit card to buy merchandise on our website, credit card transactions cannot be made at the Center.
6. DO YOU SELL ANY MEERKAT DOCUMENTARIES?
The Center has been featured in two documentaries - (Animal Planet's The Power of Play and National Geographic's Meerkat Madness), however, we do not have the rights to sell the films. We suggest you visit www.Animalplanet.com , www.NationalGeographic.com or www.Amazon.com
III. TRAVEL INFORMATION:
1. WHAT ARE THE CLOSEST LARGE CITIES TO THE CENTER?
We are two hours east of San Diego and 2 hours south of Los Angeles. We are 25 minutes from world-famous Palm Springs, California.
2. WHAT ARE THE CLOSEST AIRPORTS TO THE CENTER?
The Palm Springs International Airport is 30 minutes from the Center. Ontario Airport (1 ½ hours), Los Angeles Airport (2 hours), and San Diego Airport (2 hours).
3. IF WE GIVE YOU OUR LOCATION CAN YOU GIVE US AN ESTIMATED DRIVING TIME?
Due to multiple routing possibilities depending upon your location, we recommend you check with AAA or search the internet for accurate information.
4. CAN YOU RECOMMEND A MOTEL OR HOTEL IN THE AREA?
We prefer not to recommend accommodations because everyone has different requirements. There are motels in Yucca Valley (10 miles from the Center) but a wider selection of accommodations and recreational activities can be found in the Palm Springs and Palm Desert area. An internet search will provide an abundance of options.
5. ARE THERE OTHER RECREATIONAL THINGS TO DO AND SEE WITHIN DRIVING DISTANCE OF THE CENTER?
Yes, there are many interesting things to do and see in our area. An internet search will give you an abundance of information.
6. ARE THERE RESTAURANTS IN MORONGO VALLEY?
Yes, there are several restaurants in Morongo Valley. Additionally, there are many chain restaurants in Yucca Valley (10 miles from the Center.)
IV. MISCELLANEOUS MEERKAT INFORMATION:
1. AFTER I ADOPT A MEERKAT, DO I GET TO TAKE IT HOME?
No. Meerkats are one of the most strictly regulated animals in the world and they are illegal to own without numerous permits and licenses. Meerkats do NOT make good pets!! All adopted meerkats remain living at Fellow Earthlings' Wildlife Center.
2. DO I GET TO NAME MY ADOPTED MEERKAT?
No. All the meerkats at the Center have Swahili names which reflect their personalities. However, you are welcome to give your meerkat a "nickname."
3. CAN I TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE MEERKATS?
Yes, of course. Remember to bring lots of film and extra batteries.
4. DO YOU HAVE BABY MEERKATS AT THE CENTER?
No, usually not, unless a baby has recently been placed with us. We do not breed meerkats at the Center. If we did, we wouldn't have room for meerkats that are in need of a life-long home.
5. HOW MANY MEERKATS LIVE AT THE CENTER? WHAT ARE THEIR NAMES?
Currently, there are 7 meerkats living at the Center. Their names are Remi (F), Suri (M), Kendi (F), Rafiki (M), Jengo (M), Nalo (M), and Bara (F).
6. DO YOU HAVE A VOLUNTEER PROGRAM?
Yes. Our insurance requires volunteers to be 18 years or older. Additionally, they must be agile and in excellent health. Currently, there is a waiting list to be a volunteer at the Center.
We hope this information has helped you in planning your meerkat adoption and visit! The meerkats look forward to seeing you soon!
THE MEERKATS THANK YOU!
Fellow Earthlings' Wildlife Center
P.O. Box 1319 (mailing via post office)
11427 West Drive (mailing via UPS, Fed Ex)
Morongo Valley, CA 92256
info@FellowEarthlings.org (760) 363-1344