Meerkats are one of the most charismatic of the small mammals.
Meerkats are highly social animals, native to southern Africa. They live in large, tight-knit groups called mobs or gangs, and they take turns to do duties such as baby-sitter for the young, hunt and sentry duty, for the benefit of the group as a whole.
Did you know you can adopt Bubushka, one of our playful meerkats? For a truly unique gift - whilst contributing to our conservation fund - click here to adopt!
Meerkats are omnivores, meaning they’re not fussy and will eat other animals or plants.
Our meerkats receive 5x feeds a day; 3x meals consist of crickets and locusts, and the other 2x meals consist of pellets and vegetables.
In the wild, slender tailed meerkats are from South Africa, Southern Botswana, Namibia, Angola.Meerkats are used to tropical grassland, desert and semi-desert.
Meerkats like to sunbathe. Nights in the semi-desert can be very cold. In the morning, to help them warm up, they will often stretch out in the sun all the while keeping a watchful eye out for predators.
The slender-tailed meerkat is not currently endangered in the wild. They play an important role in maintaining ecological harmony in the desert; they aid pest control by eating insects and they also provide food for predators such as jackals and eagles.
Here at Bristol Zoo Gardens we have an all-female group, while our bachelor group lives at Wild Place Project, the zoo's sister attraction. We separated the males and females after our breeding pair became too old to retain their hierarchy in the group. In the wild the elderly female would be chased off by the competing younger females and eventually evicted from the group.
You can find our meerkats in Meerkat Lookout, opposite the Herbaceous Border
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