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Melbourne Childrens Hospital Meerkats
October 15, 2011 11:11 PM   Subscribe

Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital now has medicinal meerkats.
posted by Fiasco da Gama (44 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
That's a brilliant idea!
posted by AD_ at 11:19 PM on October 15, 2011


SO ADORABLE I - wait one second

" The Qwanye"
posted by The Whelk at 11:38 PM on October 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


Now all I need is children, an airplane ticket, and an illness.
posted by Felex at 11:50 PM on October 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


And the Queen is coming next week to open it. I hope she gets down with a merkat.
posted by mattoxic at 12:16 AM on October 16, 2011


STORIES WE MAKE UP ABOUT OUR MEERKATS.
posted by jimmythefish at 12:19 AM on October 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


...the new Ubuntu Linux release name?
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 12:33 AM on October 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


THOSE MEERKATS ARE NOT REAL DOCTORS TO NOT GIVE CHILDREN TO THEM
posted by louche mustachio at 12:44 AM on October 16, 2011 [13 favorites]


An excellent idea and one that could be applied to us older people too.
posted by episodic at 12:57 AM on October 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


MmEiErRiKcAaTlSe
posted by Meatafoecure at 1:17 AM on October 16, 2011


It's official. Melbourne is better than Sydney. Poop.
posted by taff at 1:28 AM on October 16, 2011


Compare the Meerkat?
posted by vidur at 1:46 AM on October 16, 2011


Great idea.
posted by tumid dahlia at 2:16 AM on October 16, 2011


The truth is, all hospitals have meerkats. The Royal Children's Hospital is just the first to go public. Why? Because lying is uncool. And lying to children is doubly uncool. Don't take hospitals any less seriously for having meerkats - they are still very serious places. They just also happen to have meerkats, is all.
posted by Ritchie at 2:40 AM on October 16, 2011


The instant I hear that polished "newscaster" voice now, I click it off.
posted by telstar at 2:47 AM on October 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Medicinal?
posted by item at 3:59 AM on October 16, 2011


Medicinal. They boil them down for essence of meerkat.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 4:02 AM on October 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


I work at RCH and am very impressed by the efforts taken to make the hospital a positive and child-friendly environment, especially for the the long-term patients. The new hospital definitely reflects that sentiment. I toured it last week under the guise of picking spots to locate lab equipment, but really, I just wanted to see the meerkats.
posted by emd3737 at 4:05 AM on October 16, 2011 [9 favorites]


It's to balance the fact that they also have a McDonalds restaurant (and in the old hospital, it was basically the bottom floor).
posted by a non e mouse at 4:07 AM on October 16, 2011


Bah, I'm not fooled- they say it's purely about medicinal meerkats for sick children, because who would be against that- but it's clearly just a wedge issue to open the door to fully legalized recreational meerkats.
posted by hincandenza at 4:26 AM on October 16, 2011 [27 favorites]


you know, if those little buggers weren't able to stand up and hold their paws out and look cute, they would basically be considered another form of rat and that "Meerkats move in to Melbourne hospital" would be the signal to call someone with traps!
posted by HuronBob at 4:33 AM on October 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


My first mental image was of meerkats being led around individually on little ferret leashes, so they could visit sick kids individually in their rooms. I'm both relieved and disappointed to find out this will not be the case.
posted by amy lecteur at 4:57 AM on October 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Aren't meerkats known to be stinky and aggressive?
posted by dunkadunc at 5:03 AM on October 16, 2011


The wikipedia page on meerkats says they can't be domesticated. So you have to cage them very tight, right?
posted by bukvich at 5:13 AM on October 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


"The Qwanye"

Could be worse. A lovin'.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:18 AM on October 16, 2011


They have now supplanted my wish for a helper monkey.
posted by arcticseal at 5:22 AM on October 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Meerkat Manor? I am disappointed that there are no meerkats in hospitals here -- adults need distraction, too! Penguins might also be fun -- and that you don't get to pet the meerkats.
posted by jeather at 5:50 AM on October 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: known to be stinky and aggressive
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:00 AM on October 16, 2011


Aren't meerkats known to be stinky and aggressive?

Yes. As are children. Which is why they corralled them all together where they can be watched.

I remember meerkats becoming a big thing (relatively speaking) when Meerkats United came out.
posted by pracowity at 6:33 AM on October 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


And the Queen is coming next week to open it. I hope she gets down with a merkat.

OK I read that as "goes down" and got a very strange mental image. I need to wake up fully before reading MetaFilter.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:47 AM on October 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


Aren't meerkats known to be stinky and aggressive?

which means they should get along with children just fine.
posted by elizardbits at 8:52 AM on October 16, 2011


See, America? This is where socialized medicine gets you. Sure, this plan sounds nice. If you don't think too hard about it. It starts with adorable meerkats, and charming "health care" officials claiming they just want to raise sick children's spirits. But just wait. This just the first step down a dangerously slippery slope. It can only end in total zoo-hospital fusion. Any day now they'll add a lion enclosure. And we all know what lions like to eat best. That's right: toddlers.
posted by BlueJae at 8:53 AM on October 16, 2011


LEGALIZE IT.
posted by supercres at 9:39 AM on October 16, 2011


When i was in the hospital in grade 9, the local zoo kept bringing cute things in to help cheer us up--i kept pushing for a break from all of the puppies and kitties and other such furry things, my depressed 14 yr old self wanted some ball pythons or iguanas or giant spiders or the like. Meerkats are super cute and all, but I wonder, why no solid reptiles still. Nothing is cuter than an iguana.
posted by PinkMoose at 9:44 AM on October 16, 2011


Nothing is cuter than an iguana.

What about two iguanas?
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:06 AM on October 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Meerkats have been installed in an enclosure at the new Royal Children's Hospital in the hope they will take the patients' minds off their illnesses.

Er, couldn't videogames do the same thing cheaper?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 3:33 PM on October 16, 2011


Er, couldn't videogames do the same thing cheaper?

Maybe, but they don't encourage friends & relatives to visit whenever they have a free hour or ten.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:55 PM on October 16, 2011


Maybe, but they don't encourage friends & relatives to visit whenever they have a free hour or ten.

Sure they do.

Play Mario Kart with my family or get pawed by some stinky animal? HMMM
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:33 PM on October 16, 2011


genji

ahem, excuse me:

OHHHHH WHO IS THE CUTEST LITTLE DIGNIFIED LITTLE REPTILE,S WHO LOOKS LIKE HAPPY LITTLE DINOS, WHOS MY HAPPY LITTLE DINOS, YOU, YOU, YOU ARE---OH HAPPY LITTLE DINOS
posted by PinkMoose at 6:39 PM on October 16, 2011


Er, couldn't videogames do the same thing cheaper?

Most people like animals.

And kids generally do have all the videogames they can stand. Where they are, with all of the display screens and beeps and terror and isolation of the hospital, they don't need videogames. They need a connection with life.
posted by pracowity at 9:42 PM on October 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


They need a connection with life.

Life is death. They're better off dissecting the meerkats to see what medicinal uses they have.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:48 PM on October 16, 2011


I would dissect that comment, but I don't think it would have any use.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:31 PM on October 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


As any good naturalist knows, watching animal behaviour can be an all-absorbing occupation. I once saw a flock of cockatoos essentially pole dancing (flying up to the top of a vertical wire, grabbing hold of it with their feet, and letting their momentum carry them around and around until they slid to the bottom). There ain't a video game out there that can match that.

Though the hospital may be taking a risk. The Melbourne Zoo Meerkats are the ones that launched a break-out attempt a few years back (unable to find link to story, sorry).
posted by Alice Russel-Wallace at 10:41 PM on October 16, 2011


Play Mario Kart with my family or get pawed by some stinky animal?

Yeah that's why they don't take tortoises into hospitals any more, the kids kept throwing the green ones at the kid in the bed in front of them
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 1:56 AM on October 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


That's just spectacular.
posted by robstercraw at 7:51 AM on October 17, 2011


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