Knoppert said the animals escaped about two weeks ago and have been spotted on multiple occasions, but always flee the scene before he arrives to attempt a capture.
Eva Schippers, a biologist with the AAP Foundation exotic animal sanctuary, said rescuers are concerned about the well-being of the African animals in the colder Netherlands climate. She said the animals would also likely have difficulty hunting for insects and small rodents around this time of year.
Knoppert said he isn't as concerned about his pets' need for food, as the meerkats have been seen eating food left out for them in then neighborhood.
Meerkats are currently legal to own in the Netherlands, but a law scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1, 2024, will create a list of approved exotic pets, which do not include meerkats. Officials said current owners of animals not on the list will be allowed to keep them for the duration of the animals' lives.