Zoo Miami is home to our very own sociable and charismatic meerkat family, otherwise known as a “mob” or “gang”. Our cute and fuzzy four legged mammals are on exhibit in the Children’s Zoo. We have one group of four which consist of two females (Ndumu and Yam Yam) and two males (Ben and Jerry) that have been with us since 2012. The meerkat keepers provide the group with plenty of enrichment such as new toys, new smells, and new foods during their keeper talks. Keeper talks are held every week day at 12:30 p.m. for the keepers to interact with visitors and for visitors to watch the keepers give the meerkats their middaty snack which includes worms and crickets. To help the meerkats keep in tune with the environment the keeper throws their snacks into a closed paper bag so that they can open it themselves which helps simulate their mind to remind them to hunt for their food on their own as they would if they were in the wild. “They are very chatty and they love to bark for snacks”, Henry the meerkat keeper shared. To help protect the meerkats home, their red soil is regularly rotated to help kill bacteria and prevent soil from collapsing during the meerkats daily tunnel digging. They are very affectionate to one another and often spend most of their time laying in the soil, and are very famous for their striking upright posture as visitors stop by to pay them a visit. Meerkats are scientifically known as Suricata suricatta. They can grow to be about 12” long and an average of 2 pounds, with females being slightly larger than males.
From Jan 17 - Mar 2017, some areas of the Children's Zoo will be under construction to improve our guests' experience. We apologize for the inconvenience.