The Greensboro Science Center is home to a group (or mob) of meerkats led by alpha female, Chibanda.
Meerkats are native to the desert regions of Southern Africa. Because of this, our mob spends cold winter days inside their blockhouse, which is heated to a comfortable 80 degrees. During warmer weather, you’ll likely see them sleeping, digging and standing guard on the tall rock in their exhibit!
KEEPER NOTESThey were kept inside on a cold day, so I put The Rocky Horror Picture Show on TV for them. Later, when I came in to check on them, they were all in their bed watching TV!
Our meerkats are fed Nebraska feline diet in the morning, and kibble, insectivore diet, fruits, and veggies in the evening. Their favorite is Nebraska meat!
They are target trained.
Our meerkats are very inquisitive as well as destructive, so they enjoy plastic bottle feeders, boxes and toilet paper rolls filled with food!
Meerkats are often featured on our behind-the-scenes Zoo Trek experience! Click here to learn more.
Native to the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, Namib Desert in Namibia and Angola, and parts of South Africa
Primarily insectivores; will also eat lizards, scorpions, plants, eggs, and spiders
9.5 - 14 inches (without tail)
1.5 - 2 lbs.
5 - 6 years in the wild; 10 - 12 in zoos
The alpha female and male in the group is the primary breeding pair. Gestation is 11 weeks, after which a litter of 1 - 4 (typically 3) pups is born.
Fortunately, meerkats reside in several large, well-managed protected areas, including the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
Digging burrows can be a dirty job, but meerkats were made for it! A protective membrane covers their eyes to keep the dust out. In order to keep their ear canals clean, they can also close their ears while digging!