What's a meerkat? Despite the name, which means 'mole cat' in Afrikaans, a meerkat is neither aa cat nor a mole, but a species of mongoose that lives in the more arid regions of southern Africa. The name stems from meerkat behavior -  these little mammals dig deep holes in their search to find food, and they excavate an intricate system of tunnels and burrows in which they sleep and find safety. 


Meerkats are highly social animals that live in groups called mobs. They teach their young and are, unfortunately, targeted for the illegal wildlife trade for people who want them as pets. A meerkat is adorable, but it is NOT a pet!