Just past the lions at Oakland Zoo, take the lower trail to visit the meerkats. The lookout watching everything from a high perch will be the first one you see. As you get closer, you will be able to see lots more at ground level rushing about their busy lives. These proud parents were just sitting on a mound of dirt posing for photos with their offspring though.
Despite the name, meerkats are not cats. Meerkat is the Afrikaans term for mongoose, which is the family to which they belong. They are insect eaters, native to Africa, and are not endangered.
Younger visitors to the zoo will be quick to remind you that a meerkat starred in Disney’s Lion King as Timon too.