Adorable young meerkat loves attention from caretaker

Published February 18, 2021 16,843 Views

This adorable meerkat is only six months old and used to be kept as a pet until her owner realized that's not a good idea. Now, being very used to people, she just loves the attention!

The meerkat (Suricata suricatta), also known as suricate, is the sole member of the Suricata genus, but it shares the Herpestidae family with 30 species of mongoose from Africa and Southern Eurasia, and four species of dwarf mongoose. Although there is only one species of meerkat, three subspecies are currently recognized: Suricata suricatta suricatta, in Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa; Suricata suricatta majoriae, in the Kalahari; and Suricata suricatta iona, in southwestern Angola.

Meerkats are small burrowing carnivores, feeding mostly on small invertebrates, and live in large underground networks that have multiple entrances. They are very social animals that live in large colonies called clans, which usually consist of about twenty animals, but can have up to 50 members or more. Meerkats are known for sharing burrows with Yellow Mongoose and Ground Squirrel.

To ensure the safety of the clan, some individuals serve as lookouts, standing on their rear legs and gazing alertly over the plains, watching for predators such as birds of prey. When a predator is spotted, the sentries give a warning bark or whistle, and the other meerkats run and hide in one of the many entrances they have spread across their territory. Meerkats have different alarm calls depending on which predator was spotted.

It is a widespread species in western parts of southern Africa, from north and west South Africa, to southwestern Botswana, western and southern Namibia, and the extreme southwestern Angola. It is possible that it occurs in Lesotho as well, but it hasn't been confirmed yet. It is absent from true desert, forests, and mountainous terrain, inhabiting arid, open country, with short grasses and sparse woody growth.

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