Michael and Moses

Long before “Meerkat Manor,” Michael and Moses were Zoo celebrities with a following of dedicated fans.
  • 1980s
  • 2000s

Meerkats are social in troops of their own kind, yet Michael and Moses allowed Zoo educators into their circle, after a fashion. They were hand-raised and were given the nod to become animal ambassadors. When educators began handling them, however, they discovered that a meerkat’s respect must be earned. At first, the recalcitrant duo was dubbed “the terror of the tour guides.” But as time passed, they mellowed and became known simply and fondly as “the boys.”

Wearing snappy colored harnesses, the boys introduced thousands of schoolchildren and Zoo visitors to the marvels of meerkats. They shared their charm with guests during many special presentations. The brothers lived in an enclosure in the Children’s Zoo with a kids-eye-level window. Children would press their noses to the glass and watch Michael and Moses wrestling and scurrying through the straw bedding.  Sometimes when the two were out with their handlers, visitors got to see—and learn about—meerkat super senses in action. As one handler explained, “They could hear a jet approaching long before we did. We knew one was near when they stood up and started giving the meerkat alarm call.”

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