Now the summer holidays have come to an end the meerkats will be missing their hoards of admirers! Every day the meerkat enclosure has been surrounded by visitors hoping to get a glimpse of our cheeky mob, and the meerkats have been more than happy to oblige!
Meerkats are diurnal animals meaning they are most active during the day. We have 25 meerkats at Tilgate at the moment, and they’re always up to something! Meerkats are very playful animals. They like to dig tunnels in the sand, play with enrichment toys and play-fight with each other! They do sometimes sit and relax with a nice bit of sunbathing though.
Priscilla and Montgomery, the alpha pair of the group, recently had four pups. The whole gang help to look after the pups by babysitting, feeding and mentoring them as they grow, taking it in turns to do so. One of our pups in particular has been a big hit with visitors. His name is Mr Cuddles and he is the runt of the litter, but what he lacks in size he makes up for in personality! Mr Cuddles is very squeaky and mischievous, pinching food from the other pups and chasing the grown ups around as they forage for food!
Meerkats have a very interesting lifestyle and social structure, as our visitors learned during the public talks and feeds our keepers gave this summer. We’ll still be giving talks on Saturdays throughout autumn and winter (all our animals are born and bred in captivity so they are used to the chilly British winters, don’t worry!) so if you missed out in the holidays you can still get the lowdown on everything meerkat at the weekends.
If you’re a huge meerkat fan, you can even book a Meet the Meerkats experience here at Tilgate, where you’ll get the chance to sit with the meerkats and give them a snack – if you’re lucky you might even get to meet Mr Cuddles himself!
So, even though the holidays are over, the fun doesn’t have to be! Come down and hang out with our cheeky mob some time soon!