It’s been 2 months since the Meerkats moved in to their new exhibit and they are really enjoying their new surroundings. Being at eye-level with the public certainly has brought out their natural inquisitiveness and it seems our visitors are enjoying seeing them from this angle as well!
The natural materials used in creating the new exhibit mimic the environment of the Kalahari and Namibia where their wild cousins can be found. The sand, logs, rocks and piles of loose leaf litter are also used by us to enrich their lives and support their natural foraging behaviours. We hide food such as insects (crickets/roaches) under the logs, buried under the leaf litter, so that the meerkats can spend hours searching or ‘hunting’ for their food. Foraging under logs and rocks also help the Meerkats keep their nails trim!
Other enrichment items we use each day include, treat balls filled with meal worms, insect feeders, paper bags, cardboard boxes and toys which provide fun, entertainment and challenges for the Meerkats. We use different items each day to create unique challenges to stimulate both physical and mental activity.
Watching the Meerkats working to extract the tasty worms from the brightly coloured activity balls is a highlight of a keepers’ day. Check out the video here.
- Keeper, Tamara Gillies