The Mammal Centre at Thorp Perrow houses a fascinating animal; the meerkat!
They have such inquisitive faces! The sentries stand guard and warn the whole group of impending danger.
Meerkats belong to the mongoose family. They are very sociable creatures, living in colonies around 20 to 30 strong. The home is an underground burrow and meerkats are proficient diggers with long retractable claws to cut through the earth and ears which can be closed to keep out the excavated soil.
So sociable are these creatures that a meerkat kept in isolation may become hysterical.
A litter can number up to five pups. The young are cared for by the whole colony with the adults taking turns to babysit while others of the group are out foraging. A babysitter will even risk their own life for the pups of another meerkat...