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Police officers are calling on the public to help them find a meerkat that has gone missing following a burglary near Dorchester.

The meerkat is a two-year-old female and was being cared for at an address just outside the grounds of Kingston Maurward College when someone broke into the property between 4pm and 11.30pm on Tuesday 2 July 2019.

The animal was thrown out of her group and was having some time alone to recover from her injuries before she is integrated with another meerkat family. She was in a pen when her carer left and when he returned he discovered the back door had been left open and a bathroom window had been smashed. £40 in cash was also taken.

Detective Sergeant Adam Gill, of Bournemouth CID, said: ‘It is possible that those responsible for this burglary may have stolen the meerkat or she could have got out of her pen and left through the open door. It is important to note that this meerkat is not a domesticated pet and she needs professional care. The RSPCA say meerkats have complex needs in a captive environment and are likely to develop behavioural problems.

‘It is very important that we find her and I am appealing to anyone who knows where she may be, has spotted a meerkat roaming free in the area or seen one being offered for sale locally in suspicious circumstances to please contact Dorset Police.

‘I am also keen to hear from anyone who was in the area of Kingston Maurward between the relevant times and saw or heard anything suspicious to please get in touch.’

A meerkat’s fur is typically beige in colour and peppered with grey, brown and yellow. These speedy creatures can usually be spotted by their unique brown stripes on their back. Meerkats also have incredibly sharp nails so that they can climb trees with ease and quickly dig and burrow underground in search for lunch.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55190100857. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

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