At the Detroit Zoo
Two slender-tailed meerkats can be seen digging, foraging and playing at Meerkat Digs, located in the African Grasslands behind the Japanese macaque and lemur habitats. Male Lou and female Janie are active later in the day and can often be seen wrestling, racing and grooming each other. Lou is always the first to check out new things with his curious personality. Janie is shy and takes a long time to warm up to visitors. Both seem to enjoy people-watching through the glass and observing the window-washing process as they follow the squeegee.
The meerkat has dark skin and thin fur to help control its body temperature against both hot and cold conditions. Its long tail is used as for balancing while standing. It has very long, non-retractable claws and a keen sense of smell, making the animal very quick to hunt its prey.
Scientific name: Suricata suricatta
Habitat: Dry, open country with short grass and sparse woody scrub.
Size: 10-12 inches tall
Weight: Up to 2 pounds
Diet: The meerkat has a herbivore diet, mainly consuming insects, invertebrates dug up from the ground and small vertebrates.
Reproduction: Gestation 11 weeks; two to five babies per litter
Lifespan: 9 years
Conservation Status: Least Concern