Memorable meerkats

Each time I visit a zoo, there’s an animal that captures my attention, and a little bit of my heart. This time, aside from the big cats, which I always spend most of my time watching, I discovered meerkats.

I knew very little about them. I’d seen commercials for Meerkat Manor, but never watched the show. They were much smaller than I thought they’d be: just under a foot tall, and about 2.2 pounds each. These carnivores communicate via shrill calls and purrs, and keep a sharp lookout for birds of prey.

meerkat eyeballin
I caught this one eyeballing me.

They are part of the mongoose family, and have sharp, little teeth they put to use when hunting rodents. In the wild, they are found in south African plains. It’s always good to run into an animal handler or volunteer while at the zoo, and this time was no exception. The Mama of this particular clan, I was told, could be recognized by the black skin tag hanging  off her chin. I don’t think it detracted from her looks, though.

Mama meerkat other
Mama is on the left. She started the meerkat clan which lives at the Brevard Zoo.

I didn’t see any playful otters at the Brevard Zoo. But the meerkats made up for that.

I think this one was listening for the dinner bell.