Taronga's popular Meerkats have hardly noticed the colder weather, warming up under heat lamps in their exhibit if they feel chilly.
Infrared lamps are on in their exhibit during the winter months, so on cooler wet days, the whole group will gather to bask in front of the lamps.
Being a social animal, Meerkats generally live in groups of up to 20 or 30 individuals and are often seen grooming each other to strengthen social bonds. This can easily been seen among the Zoo's Meerkats with the most common winter grooming site being closest to the heat lamps.
Typically they can be seen standing on their hind legs with their chest facing the heat source, being either that of the heat lamps or the nice warm sun. This is because a meerkats belly is only sparsely covered with hair which exposes their black skin underneath, creating the perfect heat conductor on those cold mornings and evenings.
Another group of animals that enjoy the warmth of each other is our lion pride. The four of them enjoy the prime real estate of their elevated platform out of the rain, often forming what staff call a kitty pileup. Mother, father and now adult-looking off-spring enjoy being as close as possible when they spend nearly two thirds of the day sleeping.
Story: Zoo Communications
Taronga Zoo, Media Relations
(02) 9978 4606
Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Media Relations
(02) 6881 1400
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