Suricata suricatta



Southwest Africa


Prairies, plains, savannah.


Mainly insects, spiders and snails, but may include rodents, lizards, ground-nesting birds and their eggs, even scorpions and snakes


70 - 80 days, two - five meerkittens born


Birds of prey such as hawks and eagles, jackals

Conservation Status:

Least concern


Meerkats have natural immunity to scorpion and snake venom, and are well-known for their upright and intensely alert posture when scanning their surroundings. Teamwork and cooperation help to ensure their survival, and all meerkats in a group seem to have clearly defined roles.

A wide vocabulary of noises are used by Meerkats to communicate with each other and other animals. You may hear them making noises such as purring to show contentment, chattering when nervous and squealing/squeaking to alert others of danger.

Meerkats are highly sociable but territorial animals, they inhabit territories in packs. A pack will typically have 10 - 30 individuals made up of 3/4 family units who will keep to themselves within the pack.

Fun fact: The black patches around a meerkat’s eyes act as sunglasses! The black protects their eyes against the sun’s glare.

At Hamilton Zoo:

Two meerkat brothers make up the mob at Hamilton Zoo. They share their home with our Cape Porcupine family.

Pemba - 11/4/16