In Pictures: Meerkats at Longleat
The country seems to have gone meerkat crazy in the last 12 months due to the popular TV adverts featuring Aleksandr Orlov the sophisticated Russian meerkat. People in Wiltshire can get the chance to see some real meerkats close to home at Longleat.
A group of 14 meerkats (4 male, 5 female and 5 babies) live in the Meerkat and Mongoose Mountain Lakeside Enclosure, and delight visitors young and old with their cheeky antics.
A group of meerkats is called a 'mob' and you will always see one standing on his rear legs as a sentry or lookout to warn of any approaching danger.
Meerkats are mammals and members of the mongoose family. They hail from Africa and are very social creatures, sometimes living in the wild in colonies averaging 20-30 members.
In 2007, Longleat's meerkats hit the headlines when a camera had been left in their enclosure and it was inferred that the meerkats had taken photos of each other. As resourceful as meerkats are, this turned out to be a joke!
Five baby meerkats were born earlier in the year, and Head of Section, Darren Beasley said: "These guys are the bouncy ones of the group. For these youngsters it is all about learning through play and boy, are they having fun learning!"
If you are interested in visiting the meerkats of Longleat, go to www.longleat.co.uk to find out about park opening times and ticket prices.