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Meerkat (Suricata suricatta)

Meerkat
Meerkat Meerkat Meerkat

Personal Information
The Zoo is home to four meerkats; one female, Millie, and three males, Lookout, Tracker and Malik. Millie was born in 2002 and came to the Zoo in 2007, while the three males were born in 2006 and came to the Zoo in 2008. The meerkats are quite active during the day and like to stand and watch their surroundings

Status in the Wild
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status: Least concern. While meerkats help control pests that destroy crops, they, too, are considered pests because of the burrows they construct and the fact that they are carriers of disease for domestic animals.

Habitat
Meerkats are found in areas of open savannah and open plains in southern Africa and the Kalahari Desert.

Diet
Meerkats eat mostly insects and arachnids, centipedes and millipedes, but also eat small reptiles, eggs and plant material.

  • Meerkats are small burrowing animals that live in large underground networks with multiple entrances. They come out during the day time.
  • Meerkats are highly social. They live in large groups called mobs, which can consist of three familial groups with up to 30 individuals.
  • When one meerkat stands up and acts as a lookout for predators or danger, it is called sentinel behavior. The sentinel will call with a bark to alert the others of nearby threats.
  • A meerkat is about 1-foot tall and weighs about 1.5 pounds.
  • Meerkats are immune to certain venoms such as the venom from the scorpions of the Kalahari Desert.