OMG, those MeerkatsÂ were so cute, I thought I stepped intoÂ Meerkat ManorÂ TV live. They were truly a pleasure to see in action.Â
TheirÂ habitat looked just like onÂ National Geographic.
Lowry Park ZooÂ is one of the top zoosÂ in theÂ country with 56 acres of lush,Â natural habitats,Â over one million visitors annually and very proud to have been voted the # 1 kid friendly zoo by Parents Magazine.Â
So you may want to put this zoo on your travel itinerary, next time you take a vacation in Florida. I suggest you plan ahead which exhibits you'd like to visit most, because we spent all day and still didn't see all.
The MEERKAT exhibit
Â at Lowry Park Zoo
Â in Tampa, Florida
MeerkatsÂ (suricata suricatta) are not cats at all, but a member of the mongoose family. Very social, they live in groups of 30 to 40, called "mobs" and "gangs".
Mobster or Gangster?
Naww - these guys are way too cute for words!
There is always someone on the lookout ...Â
I see you:)
We visited the zoo in TampaÂ on a warm, sunny dayÂ a couple of weeks ago. The MeerkatÂ habitat had only a 4-5 foot high glass barrier which helped with the picture taking (the bright sun not so much).
IÂ had the distinct impression that the MeerkatsÂ enjoyed being the center of attention.
From what I observed, thereÂ seemed to be three meerkats onÂ duty.
No doubt one of the alpha males:)
They all took their watch seriously,
guarding the youngsters playing ...
Â looking from side to side ...
There was constant activity near the entrance to their burrow.
Fun fact - each meerkat has it's own unique markings on the back, no two are alike.
However,Â I have to tell you that even in the short period I observed these social critters, I began to recognizeÂ differences in their personalities.
Meerkats hunt during the day for insects, bird eggs and especially ant eggs, even scorpions and spiders (they are immune to the venom of snakes, scorpions and spiders).
Fun fact - meerkats can dig up as much dirt as their body weight in two seconds flat.
They have good eyesight, which they need in case a bird of prey decides they'd make a good lunch. That black band around their eyes allows them toÂ look upÂ directly into the sun.
It's serious business providing protection forÂ the mob.
We really enjoyed seeing the meerkat exhibit, even if
one the guardians
gave me the evil eye:)
My favorite shot of the day!
All images are copyright 2011 Â© Rose Hill
Â Thank you all so muchÂ for looking and stay tuned for
a very short post on the cutest Ilama ever
coming up next.
Pssst! In case you missed it, here are the first two posts in thisÂ series:
Rainbow Lorikeets at Lowry ParkÂ Zoo
Komodo Dragon at Lowry Park Zoo
Here is a link to the official site for the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, Florida.