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Meerkats are supposed to be great in tunnels.

Kion, Bunga and the King

Meerkats also known as suricates, are mammals that appear in The Lion Guard universe. They live in the Pride Lands.

Appearance

In the Real World

Meerkats have slender bodies, tapering tails, and pointed faces. Their legs, which are thin and long, end in four-toed paws with powerful claws. They have black crescent-shaped ears. Their fur is usually grizzled gray, silvery brown, orange, gold, or tan in color, with a brown nose and black patches around the eyes. They have a pattern of stripes on their back, unique to each meerkat.

In The Lion Guard

The only meerkat shown in The Lion Guard thus far has been Timon, a meerkat with brown fur, darker stripes on his back, dark brown ears, and a small crest of reddish fur atop his head.

Information

Meerkats belong to the mongoose family. They weigh about the same as squirrels, and live in the deserts and grasslands of Africa. Being social animals, they live in colonies. They are expert diggers that dig elaborate underground burrows. Their main predators are birds of prey and jackals. The family group are Mob or Gang or Clan.

History

The Lion Guard

Timon the meerkat is the adoptive uncle of Bunga, one of the main characters in The Lion Guard as well as the adoptive uncle of Simba, the Ruler of the Pride Lands, and as such he appears frequently throughout the series.

 The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar

Timon and Pumbaa arrive after they hear Zuri in distress. Together, they manage to get her free, just as Bunga arrives. When Zuri falls into a log full of bugs, the pair leap down to feast, and Timon even manages to find an additional bug from the back of Zuri's ear. Bunga is excited to tell them of his new role in the Lion Guard, and proceeds to announce it to the world. Both are at first largely concerned about this, with Timon's fear leaning towards the extra work it would require. Bunga reminds them of Zuka Zama, but Timon is still dubious. However, after Kion explains that Bunga is the bravest animal he knows, both Timon and Pumbaa come to accept his new role. 

The Rise of Makuu

Timon and Pumbaa are informed of Bunga's odor problem by Ono. However, they don't believe there's anything wrong with Bunga's scent. They argue with Ono over Bunga's smell in the song Don't Make a Stink.

Bunga the Wise 

Upon hearing Rafiki's unfinished statement about the intelligence of honey badgers, Bunga races away to tell Timon and Pumbaa. Together the three of them popularize advice from Bunga, calling him "Bunga the Wise" and "the sage of Hakuna Matata Falls". When the Lion Guard comes in search of Bunga, they find Timon and Pumbaa, who sing the song Bunga the Wise to introduce Bunga to the Pride Landers seeking advice. When the Lion Guard asks to see Bunga, Timon is reluctant to allow them in, but Bunga calls his friends inside. However, before the Guard can say much to Bunga, Timon ushers them out, pointing out the many animals waiting. Later, Timon is seen as part of the parade of animals following Bunga through the Pride Lands. When the Lion Guard asks what they are doing, Timon and Pumbaa explain that Bunga's advice had become so popular, they wanted to spread it around. Kion tries to convince Bunga to stop, and Timon protests, reminding him of Bunga's idea of the dam. Just then, the dam breaks, and Timon and Pumbaa flee for safety. Kion eventually uses the Roar of the Elders to stop the water from flooding the Pride Lands. Timon is last seen relaxing on Pumbaa near the waterfall Kion 

The Kupatana Celebration 

Timon is seen at the Kupatana Celebration next to Pumbaa and Ushari.

Fuli's New Family

After Bunga is bitten by Ushari, Ono goes to tell Timon and Pumbaa. By the time the Lion Guard gets Bunga to Rafiki, Timon is already panicky. He is shocked when Rafiki says that he plans to do nothing about Bunga's wound, but when Rafiki reveals that honey badgers are immune to snakebites, Timon is delighted. He invites the Lion Guard from to dinner at Hakuna Matata Falls, but they all deny. Upon hearing from Fuli that female cheetahs prefer to hunt alone, he insists on inviting Fuli, and she reluctantly accepts. After Bunga is bitten by Ushari, Ono goes to tell Timon and Pumbaa. By the time the Lion Guard gets Bunga to Rafiki, Timon is already panicky. He is shocked when Rafiki says that he plans to do nothing about Bunga's wound, but when Rafiki reveals that honey badgers are immune to snakebites, Timon is delighted. He invites the Lion Guard from to dinner at Hakuna Matata Falls, but they all deny. Upon hearing from Fuli that female cheetahs prefer to hunt alone, he insists on inviting Fuli, and she reluctantly accepts.

The Search for Utamu

Bunga explains to the Lion Guard (sans Fuli) how he met his uncles. Later, he returns to Hakuna Matata Falls without the Utamu grubs. Although Bunga is bitterly disappointed, neither meerkat nor warthog are upset. The only reason they shared the Utamu grubs was to celebrate their meeting with Bunga. And, as it turned out, the grubs had landed near them anyway (thanks to Bunga's earlier antics). They share a loving hug before diving into the grubs.

Bunga and the King

Timon is shown sobbing in despair in Nandembo Caverns, leaning against Pumbaa and calling the savanna cruel for taking both of his babies in the very same day. He then falls to the ground, pounding it with paws, and announcing that they are lost in a crazy maze. He then covers his eyes and weeps louder. Ono points out that the entrance to the cave is very close. Timon is not calmed by this, and shouts that they are already lost despite barely being inside. He then wails, "My kids!" and frets about what horrors they are enduring whilst tugging his ears down. Simba and Bunga hear Timon squalling and referring to them as his lost babies. However, he has calmed down by the time he is next shown. He apologizes to Kion for losing it, Pumbaa tells Kion he'll understand once he has kids of his own. Timon, on the verge of tears and sniffling, adds that you let them into your heart. He is unable to finish his sentence, and begins sobbing once more. Simba and Bunga shout Timon and Pumbaa's names, and Timon whimpers that he can still hear their "sweet, sweet" voices before bursting into tears. Realizing that Bunga and Simba still live, he and Pumbaa run in the direction of their voices. They run one way, encounter a dead end, and run another  Once Simba and Bunga leap across a chasm and join the Guard, Pumbaa, and Timon, Timon begins kissing Bunga on the cheek. He remarks to Pumbaa that Pumbaa thought they would never find them. The party goes to the elephants' concert, where Simba declares that he will sing a song that means a lot to all of his family. He glances as Timon, Pumbaa, and Bunga, and Timon smiles with his paws holded against his chest. The group then sings the song Hakuna Matata.

The Imaginary Okapi

Timon and Pumbaa are seen briefly during Life in the Pride Lands. As Beshte passes by whilst giving Ajabu a tour of the Pride Lands, Timon is resting on top of his warthog companion. When Beshte calls to the pair, Timon leaps up and sends a wave their way.

Beware the Zimwi

At Hakuna Matata Falls, Timon scrapes a stick against some rocks to get the attention of the Lion Guard and some young animals. He instructs them to let the expert tell them about The Zimwi. Pumbaa insists that Timon is the only animal to have survived and encounter with and seen the beast, and Timon agrees, but grins and adds "more or less." When Kion proves doubtful, Timon explains that his Ma's cousin's friend knew an ox who told him that he ran into The Zimwi and got eaten. Kion wonders how the eaten ox could have passed on the tale, and Timon informs him that he'd have to ask the ox, then declares that nothing can stop the Zimwi. Young Rhino asks what they're going to do, only to have Timon tell him that there's nothing he can do. The Guard leaves to go track down the Zimwi.

Never Roar Again

Timon is seen in a cave painting in The Lair of the Lion Guard as Bunga sings Stand Up, Stand Out. Bunga later mentions that his uncles considered Scar to be the worst lion ever.

The Ukumbusho Tradition

As Ma Tembo prepares everyone in Mizimu Grove for the Ukumbusho Tradition with the Lion Guard's help, Timon and Pumbaa show up, willing to help out too, with Pumbaa claiming that Timon is a professional in theatrics. Despite her doubts, she allows them to assist in helping the Guard prepare for the celebration. Before they begin, Ma Tembo remembers that the Lion Guard has traditionally been made up of lions, prompting Makini to offer to paint them instead. After she is finished, Timon and Pumbaa introduce the new Fuli to them personally. As Fuli starts to feel bad, Timon tries to assure her, but ends up snuggling her soft fur. After pushing him away, Timon and Pumbaa start to coach the Guard as they had intended. However, Timon and Pumbaa's ways of coaching the Guard are met with little success. Despite assuring them that they know more about how lions act than anyone in the Pride Lands, having raised Simba, they are unable help them, especially when they try to practice their lines with the branch of peace in their mouths, much to Timon's frustration. Later that evening, Timon and Pumbaa sit with Makini as the event goes underway, until a swarm of bees show up and frighten the elephants away. Timon angrily calls for them not to improvise, but the elephants run regardless. When the Guard saves the herd from the swarm and bring them back safely, the celebration continues once again.

Timon and Pumbaa's Christmas

One day, Timon, Pumbaa and Bunga adorn a tree with gourds. Timon starts to sing "Jungle Smells", but Pumbaa and Timon disagree on how the song lyrics were supposed to be. With the tree nearing completion, Timon turns to Bunga for a Star Fruit. Once he hands it over, Timon takes it to the top of the tree and snaps it in half, placing one half on the side. But after he places it on the top, the branch breaks, and Timon is sent hurtling towards the ground. Bunga tries to catch him, but fails. Luckily, the rest of the Lion Guard arrive having heard his cry, and Beshte is able to save the meerkat from the fall. The Guard enquire as to what they are doing with the tree, and Bunga points to the star, telling them that it's Christmas. Timon and Pumbaa are shocked when the Guard ask what Christmas is, and Bunga erroneously tells them that it's a holiday his uncles made up. They correct him, with Pumbaa explaining how they heard about it. Before Ono can point out a logical error in their explanation, Timon interrupts, informing them of how you receive presents at Christmas. Pumbaa, however, states that it's more of a time to be with friends and family. After the two argue a little over what Christmas is ultimately about, Bunga also mentions Dandy Claws, a character who appears to give presents. With Timon still excited, he, Bunga and Pumbaa tell them about "Christmas in the Pride Lands". However, at the end of the performance, Timon breaks down and admits that Dandy Claws will never visit, and Pumbaa explains how he will only come if you perform a special song known as "The Twelve Ways of Christmas" under the Christmas Tree on Christmas morning. And on top of that, everything from the song must also be present. Timon continues to cry, and neither Bunga nor Pumbaa are able to cheer him up, even though he admits that the presents they bring him each year are always great. Bunga is then lead away by the Lion Guard for a final patrol, and Timon sadly says goodbye. On Christmas morning, Bunga excitedly wakes his uncles up at the base of Hakuna Matata Falls. However, Timon refuses to get up, deciding to sleep in to avoid disappointment. Bunga angrily grasps his uncle to wake him, and forces Timon to follow him to the Christmas tree, where the rest of the Lion Guard are waiting for him. When he questions what's going on, Bunga tells him that it's the year they'll finally get to meet Dandy Claws, and they start to sing and perform "The Twelve Ways of Christmas". After the performance, both Timon and Pumbaa break down in tears. Despite Bunga's fears, they announce that they're crying out of joy. Timon thanks everyone for making his vision come true, but Bunga is upset that Dandy Claws never came. Suddenly, Pumbaa re-appears donning a white beard made of flowers, some leaves and a fruit hat. Pumbaa explains that he knew how much Timon wanted him to appear, so he would portray him that year. But unfortunately, he took so long to put the costume together that he forgot to get Timon presents. Timon, moved by Pumbaa's efforts, as well as the efforts of his friends, tells Pumbaa that it doesn't matter, since not only did he make Dandy Claws appear, he reminds him that they already received gifts from the performance, such as the berries and bugs, but on top of that, Timon is overjoyed to be surrounded by so many friends, which he declares to be the best gift of all. They conclude that it's the best Christmas ever, and the animals decide to celebrate Christmas every year.

The Scorpion's Sting

Timon and Pumbaa is seen cave painting explain by Bunga on how they defeated Scar but the others know it was Simba who defeated Scar. Timon physically appears later on with Pumbaa, watching the Kumbuka celebration with the guard and Makini. The party however is cut short when Simba gets stung by Sumu and poisoned. Timon and Pumbaa rush to Simba's side, and are later seen sobbing uncontrollably over Simba's condition, to which they don't know how bad it is when Kion asks. Later that evening, Timon and Pumbaa are seen in Pride Rock, watching over Simba with Nala, Kiara and Rafiki. Fortunately for everyone, Fuli and Bunga manage to reach Pride Rock in time with the gourd of volcanic ash needed to cure the king. Rafiki uses the ash to cure Simba, much to Timon and Pumbaa's relief.

Notable Meerkats in The Lion Guard

Trivia

  • Another meerkat is also seen in Meet the New Guard and We Are The Lion Guard.
  • The work as a tight-knit team against predators using a system of sentry-duty; this is from a life spent out in open in semi-desert conditions.
  • Their pale, sand-colored coat provides good camouflage against soil and rigid regions.
  • 'Meerkat' is an Afrikaans word meaning lake - or marsh - cat. Even though they live in dry areas, its very fond of bathing if it spots still water.
  • Meerkats harass snakes, probably to drive them away from their burrows. They might even attack poisonous ones despite not being immune to the venom. When tackling a scorpion, a meerkat might bite off its stinger then swallow it head first.
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