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Melbourne Zoo Meerkats

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This cute little creature is a member of the mongoose family.

The mob, gang or clan live as a group in all parts of the Kalahari Desert in Botswana and in South Africa.

Each clan can consist of up to 50 or more cute animals, highly social and extremely territorial.

The sight of this cute animal sitting in an upright and alert position is a popular pose that makes for great meerkat pictures.

They are are burrowing animals, digging a network of tunnels throughout a typical sandy meerkat habitat.

The Melbourne Zoo Meerkat Manor is a great place for an encounter with these fascinating creatures. You can observe their habitat, take some great photos and pick up some excellent information.

The Melbourne Zoo is open between the hours of 9:00am through to 5:00pm every day of the year. Allow a good 3 hours to visit the exhibits and really experience what the zoo has to offer.

Little Meerkat at the Melbourne Zoo in Australia compliments of http://www.flickr.com/photos/furious-angel/1016091885/  Melbourne Zoo Meerkat
Royal Melbourne Zoo Australia Meerkat compliments of http://www.flickr.com/photos/nzgundy/36754294/  Royal Melbourne Zoo Meerkat

  Bookings Information For An Intimate Close Up Encounter At The Zoo

  • Price per person- $30 (over and above the admission cost to the Zoo)
  • Max group size- 4 people
  • Restrictions-Minimum age- 5 years of age.
  • Children aged 5 to 12 must be accompanied by a paying adult
  • Available- 11:30 am 
  • Bookings can be made by contacting Zoo Photos on 03 9285 9458 or Wild Encounters booth 9285 9342
  • Bookings can also be made on the day by visiting Zoo Photos or Wild Encounters booth from 9am. 
  • Make sure that you Book Early.

Facts About Meerkats

  • Their eyes are at the front of their faces giving them great depth perception and wide peripheral vision. This allows them to see things way off in the distance.
  • When they are digging their little ears can close over to stop soil and sand getting in
  • Meerkats can be identified by the stripes that run across their back, no two patterns are the same, something akin to human's fingerprints.
  • They have a black patch on their underside that has no hair. This is used to attract the suns rays and warm their bodies. In the Meerkat habitat the desert nights are extremely cold and the morning sun is a welcome sight.
  • They eat mainly insects which they dig for with their claws. They can also eat lizards, snakes, scorpions, certain plants, eggs and other small mammals.
  • As they don't store body fat and are highly active they require a constant food source and therefore need to forage continuously.As the group forages they deploy a sentry to keep a watchful eye open for predators. Should danger appear the sentry barks an alarm warning the clan
  • At around 1 year of age the female is able to reproduce and will usually have up to 5 pups in a litter.The mature meerkats can have up to 4 litters per year with most births taking place in the warmer months.Gestation usually last for around 11 weeks.
  • The Baby Meerkats move from the burrow up onto open ground around 21 days of age and hang around the burrow with the appointed babysitter. It is documented that a female meerkat that has not had a litter can actually lactate to help feed the alpha pairs young.Once accustomed to the outside world, around 1 week later, they then join the foraging grown ups.
  • The dominant alpha pair have the habit of killing off any pups that are not its own.Most animals in the group are siblings or offspring of the alpha pair.They can also evict the females from the group who then in turn will find a roving mate outside of the group and thus produce another Clan.
  • The act of grooming each other is used to strengthen social bonds
  • The critters bite and also because of their habit of scent-marking their territory they do not make good pets.
  • The fact is that they are a pack animal and when separated from their clan they can become quite distressed and hysterical
Taking it easy at the Melbourne Zoo Meerkat Manor compliments of http://www.flickr.com/photos/zayzayem/3496359353/  Taking It Easy At The Melbourne Zoo Meerkat Manor

The Meerkats Book Shop

Fishpond book about baby meerkats

Baby Meerkats

When baby meerkats are born, they are only the size of an adult hand. But even though they are small, they quickly take on big responsibilities within the complex meerkat community.

From keeping a lookout for predators and prey, to foraging for food, these baby meerkats spend a lot of time fighting to be in charge!

Paperback, 48 pages

Fishpond book about meerkat manor

Meerkat Manor

The series follows a group involved in life-or-death struggles, just like a soap opera.

To tie in with the success of the television series and the publicity which will accrue from worldwide release of the film the originator of the Meerkat research project, Tim Clutton-Brock, has written an engaging and informative book about these animals and what his research tells us about their world, a world which appears to mirror our own but is in fact driven by the sometimes savage instincts of self-interest and survival.

The Melbourne Zoo Meerkats

If you would like to see more of the Melbourne, Australia Meerkat you can do so at the Werribee Zoo just outside of Melbourne.

banner image link to site page on the Werribee Zoo

See Melbourne and beyond with a See Melbourne Card - this card is ideal for first time visitors to the city, with entry included to over 35 attractions.

Or The Five in One Attraction Pass - you can visit five of Melbourne's top attractions within a 3 month period. There are 20 attractions to choose from including the Melbourne Aquarium, Eureka Skydeck and the Royal Melbourne Zoo.

It's the smart travel companion for every visitor to Melbourne. Save yourself quite a bit of money with free entries, special deals and discounted rides.


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