SOCIAL LIFE GREGARIOUS
This charismatic mongoose is one of the most popular and captivating animals on the African continent. It has a long and slender body, its height is between 25 and 35 centimeters. The shape of the head is conical, rounded at the back and with a pointed nose. The claws of the forelimbs are adapted for digging. A meerkat can dig up an amount of sand equal to its body weight in just minutes.
They are social animals, they live in colonies and build large and complex underground networks of about 7cm in diameter, which they usually leave in the morning with the first rays of the sun. Once they are all out, they disperse to search for food, but at no time do they lose visual or auditory contact with each other.
In each group, the dominant male and female are usually the only ones to breed, although subordinate females sometimes breed as well. Meerkats breed cooperatively, which means that individuals without young help those that do have young.
Meerkats have gained great interest in recent years in our country as a companion animal. Remember that wild animal and domestic animal are not the same; they are genetically different as a result of millions of years of selective breeding (in the case of domestic species), which has produced lineages of animals adapted to humans. A wild natural history animal conditioned to live in a domestic environment is not therefore a domestic animal. The RSE team has been contacted on numerous occasions to take care of meerkats coming from private homes. It is relevant to take into account that any animal that has not been raised in a social group of its species has not learned the behaviors of that species, which would allow it to live, socialize and thrive in a group of its species; this makes it extremely difficult to rehabilitate these animals and integrate them into a group. They literally don’t know how to “be meerkats”, so they suffer stress and, in most cases, they are not accepted by the group.
If you want to acquire an animal, find out in depth about which animal will be part of your family and what is the responsibility you assume.