Meerkats are native to the deserts of Southern Africa. They are a type of small mongoose. A group of meerkats is called a mob.
We have two meerkats at the farm. Brian and Margaret. We do not know their ages but they have been at the farm since August 2020.
Meerkats have a sharp claws that they will use for digging and to defend themselves from predators or other meerkats. Meerkats build themselves a network of underground tunnels to hide away from predators, like birds, and to avoid the harsh climates of a desert
Meerkats can often be seen laying flat like pancakes on their belly. This acts like a solar panel to keep them warm.
Meerkats are omnivores which means they eat a variety of plants, insects and animals. In the wild they would mainly eat insects, small amounts of vegetations and eggs from other animals. In order to replicate this diet we feed them cooked cooked, omnivore pellets and live insects such as locusts, crickets and meal worms. We also give them this food in a variety of different ways to encourage their natural foraging instincts.
Meerkats have a hierarchy with a dominant female at the top. She will be the only one allowed to breed. The other females will take it in turns to look after the pups. A female will have to challenge the dominant female if they want to become the new boss!
Meerkats often climb up onto trees, stumps and rocks to get a high vantage point. This allows them to see further to look for potential predators.
In the wild a group of meerkats tactically work together and have been known to fight off dangerous snakes.