Pride Lands
Reprint of an article found in the August Issue of Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine

Meerkats in Texas

Fort Worth Zoo Introduces Meerkat Mounds

Most people didn't even know what a meerkat was prior to the release of Disney's animated film _The Lion King_. Thanks to the movie, however, a star has been born.

On August 16, the Fort Worth Zoo will open Meerkat Mounds, which will feature an entire meerkat colony. Visitors to Meerkat Mounds will be able to observe the different roles each meerkat performs as it goes about its daily routines.

Meerkats, a relative of the mongoose, are found exclusively on the semiarid plains of southern Africa. They live in colonies of up to 30 members.

Other meerkat facts:
   • Meerkats are immune to the poison from scorpions and snakes;
   • A meerkat uses its tail for balance and to communicate with other members of its colony;
   • When a mother meerkat is introducting her young to unfamiliar food, she runs around with it in her mouth, encouraging the babies to grab it from her;
   • When cornered, a meerkat will throw itself on its back and bare its teeth and claws.

For information about the Fort Worth Zoo, call 817-871-7000

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