HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Honolulu Zoo announced on Thursday, Dec. 31, that it is welcoming three new male meerkats from the Toledo Zoo in Ohio. The critters are currently completing a required 120-day quarantine and are expected to be placed on exhibit in March, 2021.
The siblings — Raphael, Leo and Mikey — were provided to the Honolulu Zoo through a partnership with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and arrived in Honolulu on Monday, Nov. 2.
The director of the Honolulu Zoo says, they are happy to welcome the popular species back.
“We are very happy to welcome this popular species back to the Honolulu Zoo. We’re thankful for the continued partnership with the AZA and zoo facilities across the country as we work together in continuing the survival of species and to educate the community about conservation and animal care.”Honolulu Zoo Director Linda Santos
The 3-year-old brothers were born on March 4, 2017, and the average lifespan for a meerkat in captivity is upwards of 12 years.
The Honolulu Zoo is only allowed to house male meerkats to avoid the establishment of a wild population, as meerkats are considered “injurious wildlife” in Hawaii, according to the Zoo.
Meerkats are listed as “Least Concern” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List. The population is not threatened and meerkats give birth to litters of three to seven pups year-round, according to the Honolulu Zoo.