London zoo sends mob of meerkats on Easter egg hunt

Amid the U.K.’s lockdown as a result of a global health crisis, the ZSL London Zoo is keeping its meerkats happy with an Easter egg hunt.

“Meerkats will sometimes come across eggs in the wild, which they see as a rare treat — with Easter approaching, and the mob missing the extra attention they’d usually get this time of year from our visitors, it’s the perfect time to put on an egg hunt for them to enjoy,” zookeeper Tom Lawrance explained in a statement.

Zookeepers painted eggs in bold and bright colors like blue, purple and pink. The mob of meerkats — named Frank, Dracula, Archie, Penelope, Timon, Aurora and Meko — were then sent to find the treasures hidden under tree bark and holes in the ground.

“There were plenty to go round but that didn’t stop a few of our residents getting protective over their eggy hoard, hiding them from each other and burying them to save for later — something that may sound familiar to other households this weekend,” Lawrance said.

According to the zoo, the slender-tailed meerkats are members of the mongoose family. They are known for their long thin tails, which allow them to balance while standing upright, and the black patches around their eyes. These meerkats typically forage in groups and are indigenous to Southern Africa.

While the animals can seem cute, the zoo notes that meerkat mobs can be territorial and have a strict social order. Thus, it’s probably best to watch this particular mob of egg-seeking meerkats from a good, safe distance at home.

If you enjoyed this story, you might also like reading about these zoo cameras that let you hang out with animals from home.

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