Meerkat Manor returns tonight; meerkat killed by car

Meerkat Manor, the Animal Planet reality series that stars small mammals that demonstrate more brain power and are more engaging than the average Big Brother cast, returns tonight at 9 p.m. ET for its fourth season.

Subtitled “The Next Generation” and narrated by Stockard Channing, it follows “betrayals, romances, seductions” as “Rocket Dog and Maybelline must live within the rather large shadow of their late mother, Flower, and there’s very little room in the Kalahari for both sisters’ clans.” From 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Animal Planet will air old episodes, but if you really need to catch up, seasons one and two are on DVD, and season three will be released June 17.

Last season featured tragedy, the death of Flower, whose life has now been chronicled in a book by Tim Clutton-Brock, who runs the Kalahari Meerkat Project. One of the meerkats followed this season was also killed, but since that occurred after the fourth season was taped, that death won’t be shown on TV until the fifth season.

The meerkat was killed in late April after being hit by a vehicle. The Washington Post’s Lisa de Moraes reveals that meerkat’s identity, and reports that “[t]he six-inch TV star was killed in what is being described as a hit-and-run while crossing a road in the Kalahari Desert.”

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