Scientific Name: Suricata suricatta

Found In: Angola, Botswana, Namibia, & South Africa

Size: Average head and body length is 10 to 12 inches and the tail is 8 to 9.5 inches. They weigh between 22 and 34 ounces.

Diet: Carnivore: Insects, mainly beetles and beetle larvae and butterfly larvae. Rarely spiders, mice, reptiles

Threat Level: Least Concern – Though listed as least concern, the population is suspected to be undergoing slow declines owing to deforestation of its primary forest habitat

Facts: The young meerkats are cared for by a babysitter who plays with them and feeds them, remaining alert to danger.

Virginia Zoo Meerkats: males Hardy and Amadi (known by his keepers as ‘Nub’)