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Living in colonies of up to 30 individuals

The sentry of the desert

Meerkats, known as the “sentries of the desert”, live in colonies of up to 30 individuals. The group includes several males and females, as well as their offspring. Their social structure is based on affective links. All families in the group share the same den and display tremendous solidarity.

To look for food, meerkats need to dig deep holes in the ground, which is why sentries take turns keeping a lookout throughout the day. A sharp growl indicates an as yet unspecified danger, a barking noise warns of a land predator, and a specific sharp cry announces the presence of raptors. Meerkats have excellent eyesight and can distinguish between a raptor and a vulture from a great distance.

  • Quatre suricates au zoo Le PAL
  • Deux suricates au zoo Le PAL
  • Un suricate sur une pierre au zoo Le PAL
  • Un suricate entrant dans une grotte au zoo Le PAL

The meerkat occurs in South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Births take place all year round, the female gives birth in a private room in the burrow, born blind and deaf, the young will be raised there by the mother.

Today, the conservation situation of the meerkat is considered of little concern by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, however, its population is relatively stable. Indeed, as meerkats live in areas with very little, if any, human activity, they are little affected.

  • Habitat

    Savannah, arid areas and grassland

  • Food

    Insects, small vertebrates, eggs.

Meerkats are immune to a large variety of poisons. They cut off the poisonous tail of scorpions before eating them.
Did you know ?

Meerkats are immune to a large variety of poisons. They cut off the poisonous tail of scorpions before eating them.


Discover his stories !

Follow the adventures of our meerkats. A large, well-organized and very close-knit family! Find out more about PAL meerkats and their relationships with their caretakers.

At PAL... More than 1 000 animals

A zoological reserve populated by Asian elephants, giraffes, lions, tigers, hippos, chimpanzees, gibbons, wolves, ostriches ... Animals evolving in their reconstituted natural environment, to discover as a family.

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