Fears over meerkat missing after burglary in Dorchester

Image caption Meerkats held in captivity can develop behavioural problems unless they are properly cared for

A meerkat with "complex needs" is missing following a burglary at a house in Dorset.

The two-year-old female was being cared for at a house near Kingston Maurward College in Dorchester after being injured and thrown out of its group.

The animal had been in a pen but when its owner returned on Tuesday, a window had been smashed and the back door left open - and it was missing.

It is not known whether the meerkat was stolen or escaped.

The house was broken into between 16:00 and 23:30 BST on Tuesday and £40 was stolen.

Det Sgt Adam Gill of Dorset Police said: "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."

Anyone who spots the animal or is offered a meerkat for sale under suspicious circumstances is urged to contact police.

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