A meerkat that was being transported to Axminster’s Axe Valley Zoo via a cargo vessel was rescued from the sea after it had managed to jump overboard. On 16 June, the animal named ‘Boris’ leaped off the 30ft-Gry Maritha vessel, which had arrived at the port in Penzance.
The incident took place after Boris — as well as a second meerkat named ‘Doris’ — managed to escape their cages and make a break for it, only for Doris to be caught and Boris to end up in the sea.
Unfamiliar and uncomfortable with the conditions, Boris panicked in deep water and needed to be rescued by skipper Tom Sexton. Tom was seen in his boxers.
Tom, 33, said that they had meerkats being transported to Penzance from the Isles. He added that probably the owner initially had four of these in a sort of petting zoo at the council home.
Boris and Doris were in their cat carrier-style box but somehow had figured out how to break out. The two were endlessly running on the deck, but there were all sorts of crates and cars they kept on hiding under, so the crew members, so, decided to leave them until they reached the port.
Eventually, after mooring, the staff got out gloves and brooms and five crew members started running around the deck to catch them. They managed to get the first meerkat, but the second suddenly jumped overboard. Tom mentioned that he was impressed at how good a swimmer Boris was.
Tom decided to jump into the water to get him, so he stripped off to be in his boxers and put on gloves to get him. He knew that a meerkat could be nippy. However, he mentioned that it was easy to get him. We then put Boris back in the box and hoisted him on the deck.
References: CornWall Live, DevonLive