The new Meerkat exhibit at Taronga Western Plains Zoo is now open! The exhibit is located at the beginning of the Zoo circuit, just between African Wild Dogs and Black Rhino, and features logs for climbing, tunnels for burrowing, heat panels for warming and of course sand for foraging; all necessities for a mob of Meerkats.
Visitors with have access to additional viewing of these curious creatures through large glass panels at the front of the exhibit. The new exhibit features a designated Meerkat encounter area where guests can get the most out of their experience and their friends and family can capture the perfect photo for ever lasting memories.
An important part of being a Meerkat is performing sentry or ‘lookout’ duty. Meerkats will take turns and climb heights to look keep an eye out for predators and to warn the other Meerkats if they feel threatened. This exhibit has been designed with specially placed tree stumps and logs to allow the meerkats to climb to points where they can see clearly for 360 degrees to conduct this sentry duty. They also have a great view of the nearby Black Rhino!
The purpose built tunnels provide shelter and shade for the Meerkats but also serve as an enrichment tools, as Zoo Keepers can hide food in them and encourage the Meerkats to fossick as they would in the wild.
The new exhibit has been designed to be naturalistic and it can be divided when necessary to manage changes in the group’s social structure.
The new Meerkat exhibit also includes a fun area for kids to explore and mimic the behaviours they see from the Meerkat mob.