Our newest residents, Meerkats
Say hello to Hasani, Mbali and Kato, our new resident meerkats, all aged 8 years old and with different characteristics that help make up their unique social structure. Hasani is the most confident in the group, Mbali is the most dominant and Kato is the most timid. Watch this space and we will update when they are here.
The meerkat social structure requires group members to partake in “jobs” each day. One of these jobs is called Sentry where one meerkat will stand at the highest point of their enclosure and act as a lookout for possible threats (overhead birds are one that can set off an alarm call) whilst the others can concentrate on digging and foraging. Because they are such intelligent, meerkats require stimulation in the form of complex enrichment such as buried tubes containing meal worms so they have to work for their treats.
Did you know…
- A group/family of meerkats is called either a mob, clan or gang
- Meerkats have fantastic eyesight, referred to as binocular vision meaning they can view an area at a wide angle
- Meerkats can often be seen standing on their back legs and they use their tail to balance themselves
- Meerkats are a type of Mongoose and like all members of this family, are immune to some venomous animals and can eat them without fear of poison
- These animals are omnivores and mostly eat bugs, small reptiles, birds, eggs, fruit and plants.
- They are very social creatures and can be found in groups of up to 50. Everyone in the meerkat ‘mob’ is involved in gathering food, looking out for predators and taking care of the babies