Slender-tailed meerkat

Scientific Name

Suricata suricatta


Meerkats live together in large communities and are very friendly towards each other. They work as a group to look out for one another, with some meerkats being posted as lookouts to watch for predators and others being used to hunt prey or nurse the pups.

Often pictured ‘standing up’ on their rear legs, these inquisitive creatures are alert to every movement around them.

The dark patches around their eyes help to reduce the glare of the sun, making them even more effective lookouts. They communicate by chirping and make shrill sounds to warn each other of potential dangers.


Meerkats are omnivores, which means they eat some meat, fruit and plants.

Meerkats will hunt insects but may eat birds and lizards if they come across them.

They have little fat on their bodies, so need to forage all day to keep their energy levels up.

Size Fact

Meerkats are approximately 30cm tall when standing.

Food Fact

Meerkats are known to eat scorpions, removing their deadly tail in the blink of an eye.

Fun Fact

A collection of meerkats is called a mob!

IUCN Red list

Meerkats are listed as Least Concern on the IUCN red list.

Where do I live?

Angola, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.

Daily talk Come and meet our mob and their keepers in the Meerkat Talk at 11am (weekdays only due to COVID-19).



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