Meerkat Manor: The Next Generation by Heinrich Van Den Berg/Animal Planet
A furry star of Animal Planet's Meerkat Manor: The Next Generation is dead, the network confirms, following a hit-and-run accident April 28. (Insert collective "Awww!")

Per the L.A. Times, network spokeswoman Tahli Kouperstein said that the six-inch meerkat was struck by an oncoming vehicle while crossing a road in the Kalahari Desert. The little guy's unique markings allowed him to be identified, although the vehicle and driver in question are still unknown.

Hazards in nature are to be expected, but a hit-and-run is reportedly too much for some fans to take. While tributes are appearing on YouTube, Animal Planet said it will not yet air its own tribute, so as to avoid spilling the beans to unknowing viewers. - Anna Dimond

Use our Online Video Guide to commune with nature and the meerkats.