Meerkats are a type of mongoose. They are burrowing animals with sharp claws on their feet for digging.
Meerkats are sociable animals that live in groups called ‘mobs’, of up to 30 related individuals. Within the mob, there is always a sentry on duty. This member of the mob perches at a high vantage point to watch the sky and surrounding area for predators. If they spot anything, a sharp bark is used to alert the other members to the coming danger.
Grasslands and savannah
Diet - Insectivore/Omnivore
Meerkats eat insects and other invertebrates but will also take eggs, small reptiles, roots, bulbs and birds.
Meerkats can measure up to 35 centimetres (cm) and their tails can reach 25cm. They weigh up to 730 grams.
Meerkats are found in the savannahs and open plains of southern Africa.
The IUCN does not consider meerkats to be facing extinction in the wild.
Meerkats are not threatened in the wild.
There has been no research carried out into how many meerkats are left in the wild.
There is no EEP for meerkats. There are thought to be around 3,400 living in zoos around the world.