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Henry Vilas Zoo Welcomes Meerkats

For more information contact:

Josh Wescott, 267-8823 or 669-5606 or Jim Hubing, 266-4708.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 10/10/2008

Issued By: County Executive
View only releases from County Executive

Visitors to the Henry Vilas Zoo will notice a pair of new faces this weekend. County Executive Kathleen Falk and Zoo Director Jim Hubing said today a pair of brand new Meerkats have arrived and are now on exhibit in the new Children’s Zoo. The male Meerkats named ‘Stan’ and ‘Groucho’ came to the Henry Vilas Zoo from the Louisville Zoo.

“Our free zoo is drawing record numbers of visitors,” Falk said. “These fun little Meerkats will be really popular with visitors of all ages.”

Meerkats, made famous by the character ‘Timon’ in Disney’s “The Lion King,” live in the Kalahari regions of South Africa in groups called ‘mobs’. Meerkats are persistent hunters, that burrow underground to find spiders, snails, rodents, eggs, lizards and scorpions.

At Henry Vilas, they’ll dine on a carnivore diet of mealworms, crickets and small amounts of produce, with bananas being among their favorite. Meerkats are always very active and in the wild they post ‘guards’ to keep a watch for predators like jackals, eagles and falcons.

‘Stan’ and ‘Groucho’ are the latest additions to the new Children’s Zoo that earlier this year opened a new play area and debuted an electric train that has been extremely popular.

‘Stan’ and ‘Groucho’ will be on exhibit in the Children’s Zoo from 10AM to 4PM daily.

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