12 Days of Grub: Day 11 – Eleven Meerkats Mobbing

On the Eleventh Day of Grub, your zoo gift will help to feed…Eleven Meerkats Mobbing, Ten Chimps a Chasing, Nine Fruit Bats Flying, Eight Giraffes a Galloping, Seven Snakes a Slithering, Six Mole-rats Mining, Five Golden Frogs, Four Calling Birds, Three Wild Dogs, Two Grizzly Bears, and Darwin the Cassowary! CLICK HERE to read them all!

One of the most popular exhibits at the Houston Zoo is our meerkat yard. Located just outside the entrance to the Carruth Natural Encounters building, the meerkats are fun to watch as they go about their lives. And if you need a break from walking, the benches are a great place to sit and watch them.

Meerkats are small, African mammals related to the mongoose. They live in groups called “mobs,” which can have up to 40 meerkats, but it is more common for a mob to have 10 to 15 individuals. There is an alpha pair which includes the dominate members of the mob responsible for reproduction. When there is a new litter, each meerkat contributes to caring for the young by helping to find food, digging new burrows, and even babysitting the new litter. Acting as a lookout, called sentry, is another important job for meerkats. A sentry helps to protect the colony by looking out for predators and will sound the alarm if any threat is present.

In the wild, a meerkat will eat mostly insects, but it will also catch and eat reptiles, birds and other small mammals. A mob will even work together to catch venomous snakes and other larger prey.  The meerkats at the Houston Zoo love spending their days digging new burrows, exploring their enrichment, play wrestling with each other and sunbathing on exhibit. The next time you’re at the Houston Zoo, take a few minutes to enjoy the antics of the meerkats. Our meerkat yard is definitely an exhibit that is fun to see again and again!

Written By Kamryn Suttinger

Help provide tasty and nutritious grub for the Zoo’s meerkat mob and the rest of our animal family this holiday season: Give the Gift of Grub!

Thank you to TXU Energy for generously matching the first $25,000 in donations this year.  Our mob says that’s an offer you can’t refuse!

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