Meerkats in Life of Pi

South Africans featured in “Life of Pi” by Yann Martel (winner of The Man Booker Prize 2002)

OK, so they’re not exactly South African people, but a whole colony of meerkats appear in the middle of Pi’s survival adventure in the Pacific Ocean.

“But it was the meerkats that impressed themselves most indelibly on my mind. I saw in one look what I would conservatively estimate to be hundreds of thousands of meerkats. The landscape was covered in meerkats. And when I appeared, it seemed that all of them turned to me, astonished, like chickens in a farmyard, and stood up…A meerkat is a small South African mammal related to the mongoose…”


BUT two pages later we discover they’re not your regular South African meerkat…

“I stared in disbelief. These were not standard Kalahari Desert meerkats. Standard Kalahari Desert meerkats do not behave like frogs.”