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Japanese photographer, @mamekoro51, took his wildlife camera skills to Inokashira Natural Cultural Park in Musashino City, Tokyo. He’s been known to shoot animals in their habitat… and then he stumbled across a family of Meerkats.

Twitter hearts exploded.

The tweet translates to “Shy…” and it’s the perfect caption to what @mamekoro51 shot. As you can see, this little guy was a bit apprehensive to make himself seen, but curious enough to say “hello.”

Naturally, Twitter wanted to celebrate this cutie…

Again…

And again…

And again….

By nature, meerkats are curious creatures, so it is no surprise that this little one had to explore the lens of the camera.

Meerkats are highly intelligent even when playing and causing mischief. They will take their curiosity and figure out how things work. Especially when taught by their parents. Meerkat families are a community and help each other out.

“Adult meerkats will babysit other’s children and as parents, they’re cautious and good teachers. When your favourite snack is a scorpion, introducing this to your babies as elevenses can be a pretty risky business, so mama meerkats chop the tails off before giving the scorpion to their offspring. They’ll also bring their babies live insects and teach them how to catch and eat them.”

But be warned. Meerkats are extremely territorial. They will protect themselves against other “mobs”.

“Meerkat kittens scrapping and wrestling before being separated by an exasperated adult are all too familiar to any human parent, or indeed anyone who’s been to a supermarket on a Saturday morning. This tussling isn’t just sibling rivalry though, it’s all part of the learning experience. Fiercely territorial, meerkats often find themselves having to defend their area against a rival meerkat group, sometimes in a fight to the death, so the earlier they can deal with a bit of rough and tumble, the better.”

All in all, while in a protective setting like a zoo, they sure are fun to watch!

Long story short: I want one!

Who’s with me?