Meet the Animals » Other Mammals » Meerkats
Meerkats Suricata surricatta
Meerkats are a type of mongoose and are found in Africa in desert terrains and are well known from both ‘Meerkat Manor’ and ‘Compare the Meerkat.com’, they are very sociable creatures in the wild and form their territorial groups, often fighting with others in the same areas. Their name comes from the Africaans (Dutch population of South Africa), the English translation is marsh cat. They awake early in the morning and spend most of their time foraging for food only returning to their burrows before it becomes dark. Meerkats feed on a range of different insects, including scorpions in the wild and have to be very alert at all times so that they do not become food themselves to snakes and birds of prey, this is when you see a lone Meerkat (sentry) watching from his lookout post. Meerkats have avid curiosities and can make a toy out of almost anything, they also seem to identify each other by smell rather than by sight, also enjoying grooming and playing in the sun.
Meerkats make lousy pets, their teeth are needle sharp and can penetrate bone, they also have very long sharp claws and their faeces smell is worse than revolting, it is also very cruel to keep just one on its own and once mature it will only want a mate, they are then aggressive and territorial and will trash your house.
In the wild a meerkat does well to get to 10 yrs, in captivity they can live for up to 15 years.