The Merrifields originally adopted 15 dassies. A local landowner in Hoedspruit, South Africa, was getting fed up with all the dassies on his property. Fearing he would start shooting them, Michele and Ian offered to relocate them to Daktari.
When the dassies arrived, the Merrifields placed them in a large enclosure for a quarantine period. They wanted to make sure the dassies didn't have any infectious diseases, and they also wanted the dassies to get used to the new area. After a few months, the dassies started having babies, but each litter died. Michele and Ian discovered bite marks on the dead babies, and realized that the big males were killing the newborns.