Humans could learn a thing or two from Meerkats. They are among the most social and co-operative animals in the world. All members of a ‘gang’ (an extended family) take it in turns to gather food, stand guard over their burrow and look after the young. Members of the gang that don’t pull their weight or transgress the social structure can even be outcast.


Alexandr the Meerkat from the TV advert got his catchphrase ‘simples!’ into the Collins English Dictionary in 2010. If you didn’t want to hear that try the Meerkat approach and close your ears. (Yes, Meerkats can close their ears – handy while burrowing or during a sandstorm.)

Adopt a Meerkat

Meerkat facts

  • Conservation Status:
    Least Concern
  • Habitat: Kalahari desert, South Africa
  • No of species: 3-4
  • Lifespan: up to 15 years
  • Weight: average 1kg
Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Carnivora
  • Family: Herpestidae
  • Genus: Suricata
  • Species: S. suricatta


Not so simple. Meerkat standing guard at Porfell Wildlife Park, Cornwall.

Meerkats are a favourite in our talks and demonstrations.

Lemur's Tea Party

Owl Flying in Cornwall at Porfell

Be A Keeper For A Day At Porfell

Help Porfell Wildlife Park & Sanctuary