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Design stages of a brand new meerkat enclosure

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by 14666, 16 Sep 2017.

  1. 14666

    14666 Member

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    Hi guys,

    Any help would be gratefully received. Research is sending us in circles.

    We are just designing our meerkat enclosure but we are struggling with what to use as the base;
    If we use concrete we are worried about drainage! If we use mesh, will it last?

    What is the best substrate? We are thinking sand/fine gravel (and to fill burrows in daily).

    Many thanks in advance. Any other guidance relating to meerkats would be fantastic!
     
  2. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    Either way it needs adequate... actually rapid... drainage. If mesh only, then the porosity of the soil must be determined. If concrete, then it needs a drain tied into a drain system. As to fill, most local topsoils are fine to use for this. I would not recommend sand (what grade of sand?) nor gravel. Why would you fill in burrows daily?
    But I recommend you start by asking advice of the people providing the animals!
     
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  3. Zoovolunteer

    Zoovolunteer Well-Known Member

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    The outside meerkat enclosure at Wildplace uses a deep layer of sand - not sure if this is over a concrete base - and drainpipes as burrows although they mostly use the sand for searching for scatter feeds. The indoor section has another sand area and wooden nest boxes.
     
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  4. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    some advice:

    Zoochat is a forum of zoo enthusiasts. It is not a site of zoo professionals, although there are a few current and former keepesrs on here. Very few people on here are in any way qualified to answer specific questions about the care of exotic animals, and you have no way of knowing if a person answering your question knows what they are talking about or if they are still in school.

    You need to enquire directly with other zoos, not ask for advice on an internet forum - as @Zooplantman says, the place your meerkats are coming from is the best one to start with.
     
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  5. 14666

    14666 Member

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    Ok sorry about that. It's just that I got a lot of help here about a sulcata tortoise enclosure and advice. I'm not sure that asking a meerkat breeder is the best person to ask about an enclosure when they are bred in 1m2 wooden crates with shavings on concrete!!! If you have better suggestions about where to get a whole established colony of meerkats from rather than a breeder - I'm all ears!
     
  6. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    if you are buying meerkats from a private breeder then yes, they are of no use for zoo enclosure advice. But you need to be seeking advice from actual zoos which hold meerkats, not from anonymous people on the internet. There are a lot of zoos with meerkats in the UK, and all of them will be able to provide actual details on how their enclosures are constructed, what does or doesn't work, and so on.

    By all means ask on here about what sort of enclosures zoo-goers like to look at, but asking how to actually design enclosures and how to care for animals without knowing who is giving you advice is putting your animals lives at risk.
     
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  7. 14666

    14666 Member

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    Thank you for your concern, obviously I am not going to go with the first advice I receive I am researching other zoos' meerkat enclosure designs as well anyway. I just wanted to see if there was one proven method that stood out.

    Please tell me how I can delete my account.
     
  8. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    why would you want your account deleted?

    If you want this to be done, however, you need to contact the site administrators. At bottom right of the screen (on the coloured bar) click on "Contact Us".
     
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  9. Mr. Zootycoon

    Mr. Zootycoon Well-Known Member

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    probably in a zoo
    But I am sure you shouldn't buy meerkats or any other species from someone who keeps them this way.
     
  10. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't discount seeking advice on animal enclosures or care via Zoochat. What I would suggest is checking the credentials of anyone who offers you advice.
    As suggested, there are a few animal professionals (or sound amateurs) on here.
     
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  11. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    I am more cautious... and suspicious... than you appear to be. There are far too many aspiring zoo people, often in short pants, who present themselves on Zoochat as experts.
    The professional zoo community is, in general, so collegial and helpful that a person such as Snooky could, with a phone call or two, get more advice and support than ever imagined.
     
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  12. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member

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    Like I say, check their level of experience and knowledge.
    I am of course completely naive and will believe anything anybody tells me. Which is why I have a whale in the bath and an elephant behind the shed.
     
  13. zooman

    zooman Well-Known Member

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    Please don't go!
    I would love to read a discussion on the best way to build a meerkat enclosure and maybe even follow its construction and delivery process.
     
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