CHIMPANZEES COMING THIS MAY

Meerkat walking
Deserts

Slender-Tailed Meerkat

Suricata suricatta

About

Meerkats live in close-knit groups called mobs. A mob has up to 40 members, and each meerkat has a role to play in helping the mob survive and thrive, such as standing up as a lookout for danger or caring for the young. They live in dry, open grasslands in southern Africa, feeding mostly on insects by day and staying alert to what’s happening in and around their territory. Sentries keeping watch over the territory use different vocal calls to alert the mob to take action against different predators. Meerkats use their long claws to dig underground burrows and to find food.

Meerkat mobs are teeming with youngsters, especially during the warmer rainy months. Females give birth to 3 or 4 pups after about 10 weeks’ gestation. Newborns have closed eyes and ears and nurse from their mom for the first 2 months. Females can have several litters each year.

Size
12 inches long and 2 pounds in weight
Live in
Southern Africa
Food
Insects, small vertebrates, vegetation
IUCN Red List Status
Least Concern
Meerkat sitting up

Conservation

Meerkats are widespread in southern Africa and face no major threats, but their habitat is in decline. Some meerkats live in protected areas.

WHERE ARE THEY AT THE ZOO?