Debonaire Exotic Animals

Meerkats

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Scientific Name     Suricata suricata

On the 15th February 2009 we introduced 4 Meerkats to our family. We purchased a group of three consisting of 1 male and 2 females and from a different souce a 3 year old male called Gromit. Gromit had lost his mate and his owner Mark was looking for a home for him with other meerkats. Thanks Mark for letting us have have Gromit and thanks for all your help.

We have also added another group of Meerkats to our family. The are a male and female and their two sons. These are housed in their own enclosure and not as part of the existing group.

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Housing.
The Meerkats live in a large pit type enclosure and have access to natural sunlight.
The enclosure has number of shelves / differing levels which greatly increases overall space. The levels are connected via pipes, tubes and runs. The Meerkats use these different levels to stand guard and watch over their area and beyond. The upper most level is used the most as the look out post from where the Meerkat can keep an eye open for danger ??. If we enter the enclosure area the sentry will give out a call and they all run to the nesting area until they are reasured it is us that have entered the area.
Again as with the Mongoose the Meerkats use all of the areas and tubes to run and play.
The Meerkats also have a nesting / bed area that is only accessed via a tube and again to try and simulate a natural burrow / tunnel system. The tube into the nest is at a slight incline again to try and replicate a wild entrance. Obviously it is not as good as a natural burrow system but anything we can do to try and simulate as best we can a natural system can only help.

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Feeding.
The Meerkats diet consists of a very wide range of foods which include
Defrosted Mice
Defrosted Day Old Chicks
Moreo Worms
Mealworms
Locusts
Roaches
Chicken Mince
Chicken Legs
Chicken Wings
Cualiflower
Peas
Carrots
Broccoli
Corn
Corn on the Cob
Butternut Squash
Apple
Banana
Pear
Mango
Papaya
Dry Catfood
Dry Dogfood
Wet Catfood.
All foods are fed as a varied diet and no one food is given as a staple food. They say variety is the spice of life !!!.

With a large part of the diet being raw meat we tend to supplement the diet with a number of products. Although not designed for Meerkats we use Vitaskunk ( http://debonaireexoticanimalsupplies.com/2-supplements/vita-skunk-150g ) as a supplement which is given once a week. Another supplement we use is Nutrobal and this is used once or twice a week

Additional Notes

Meerkats are highly social animals and as such do not do well as single pets. They need to be kept as a pair or even better as part of a group. In my opinion the larger the group the better. We hopefully plan to let the groups expand a little by keeping some of the babies if the Meerkats breed.
In my opinion they should not be kept as a single animal. We cannot hope to give a Meerkat the social interaction that it requires on a daily basis. I have seen Meerkats that are kept on their own and the ones that I have seen, in my opinion do not appear to be as happy as those that are kept as a pair or a group.
If you are considering a Meerkat as a pet please,  please,  purchase at least a pair.


debonaireexoticanimals@yahoo.com