We had been considering for some time about adding meerkats to the collection and after a lot of research and discussion with their former keeper, regarding care and management of the species, an opportunity arose due to a colleague retiring his private collection. We then had the arduous task of constructing a concrete base, and relocating the enclosure which has now been suitably extended and refurbished for our furry friends. We are delighted to say they have settled in so well and seem to be enjoying their new rockeries and hidy holes in the enclosure. However when visitors come to meet them they are very inquisitive and friendly, despite their cute and cuddly appearance they can deliver a nasty bite (as Carolyn found out).
Scientific name is Suricata suricatta and are from the Mongoose family.
Meerkats are born with hair but not full coats and with their eyes closed and can live in the wild up to 10 years however, in captivity they can live to be 15 years of age. When they are adults at about one year of age they will weigh around 2 pounds (750 – 820 grams) and stand an average of 12 inches high (30 centimeters). Meerkats live in communities and depend on one another for survival. They live at night in burrows, which are complex tunnel systems consisting of mounds, access holes, and tunnels which lead to numerous sleeping chambers. A Meerkat community is called a mob or gang, and can number up to 40. There is always. These intelligent animals are extremely communicative and posses a large vocabulary, they flourish in their environment and are not endangered.