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WildFilmHistory » Home » Films » Wildlife on One (1977 - 2005): Meerkats United

Wildlife on One (1977 - 2005): Meerkats United  (1987)

Richard Goss with one of the meerkats while filming for Meerkats United

A highly entertaining production, Meerkats United journeys deep into the Kalahari desert to explore the social life of the meerkat.

Voted the best wildlife documentary of all time by BBC viewers, this often repeated wildlife documentary reveals youngsters play fighting, long-time couples squabbling and frequent, sometimes violent, encounters between rival gangs.

Taking advantage of a long-standing Oxford University study into these highly social desert mammals, captivating cinematography from the BBC’s world-famous Natural History Unit places these charismatic, resourceful creatures right at the centre of the piece. Clubbing together, they harass snakes, scorpions and jackals, seemingly oblivious to their diminutive stature, whilst lookouts scan the perimeter for predators and guards cautiously exchange places in a well-rehearsed routine.

Diverting and absorbing, Meerkats United proved to be a hugely popular piece of wildlife filmmaking, providing an enjoyable insight into the soap opera life of these endearing creatures. Meerkats United won the 1988 Wildscreen Festival Special award.

Copyright holder

Copyright Holder: BBC - Natural History Unit
Address: c/o BBC Motion Gallery
Room E251
80 Wood Lane
W12 0TT
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 8433 2861 / 2

Film credits

Director: Richard Goss
Film Editor: Tom Poore
Music: Terry Oldfield
Narrator: David Attenborough
Photography: Richard Goss
Producer: Marion Zunz
Production Associate: David MacDonald
Production Organisation: BBC - Natural History Unit
Series Producer: Dilys Breese
Sound: Stuart Greig
Sound: Peter Simpkins
Writer: Marion Zunz
A tale of teamwork
A tale of teamwork
Practice makes perfect
Practice makes perfect
Persistence rewarded
Persistence rewarded
Richard Goss with one of the meerkats while filming for Meerkats United
Richard Goss with one of the meerkats while...
Richard Goss filming for Meerkats United
Richard Goss filming for Meerkats United