We weren’t kidding about all the activity this weekend to usher in the beginning of a real spring to Seattle. We’ve posted about the Fremont Village Festival, May Day (Fremont Arts Council) and now, the opening of the Meerkats exhibit on Saturday.
After a 10-year absence, meerkats are back at the Woodland Park Zoo – and yes, it’s made the heart grow fonder. Perhaps it was “Meerkat Manor,” or the impression left by Rudyard Kipling’s mongoose hero Rikki Tikki Tavi, but for whatever reason, it’s hard to resist these social creatures.
Visitors to the zoo will be able to see 8 meerkats at the revamped Adaptations Building, where they can observe them diving into tunnels, taking care of their young, or in the pose most associated with them, standing at attention “as sentinels of their new habitat.”
Their new Seattle digs are a world away from their natural habitat: the semi-arid savanna of the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa. Temperatures reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in summer and drop close to freezing in the winter.
The zoo has created an experience that allows visitors to look into a log den and see what life is like inside meerkat burrows, which serve as nursery and nesting rooms.
Parents: your kids can co-opt meerkat behavior in a newly-built play area located at the north entrance of the building.
If you haven’t gone to the zoo in awhile, you’ll notice something else: the new West Entrance (at Phinney Ave. N. between N. 55th Street and N. 56th Street), which replaces the current North and West Entrances.
The zoo is going to debut a new entry system that is designed to reduce wait times on busy days from 45 minutes to no more than 5 minutes. Also at this new 58,000 square-foot entry point: access to stroller or wheelchair rental, restrooms, coffee, souvenirs, and improved membership services.