ALBANY, Ga. — On a dreary February morning with a temperature of 61 degrees, Asante, a male Meerkat, predicts what many people are already feeling, that we are due to have a early spring by not having seen his shadow.
The Chehaw Park prognosticator did not see his shadow Thursday morning. Asante is the leader of a four- member family at Chehaw Park. His three other male family members are Ajani, Asani and Azibo.
Zoo Director Kevin Hils said that the Meerkat habitat has been a part of Chehaw for the past three years and that Asante gave his first weather predication last year. Previously, Sheldon the grouper tortoise provided the weather predication for about seven years. Sheldon is now retired and entertaining guests at Chehaw and participating in education programs.
Meerkats are small mammals, much like a weasel. In captivity they enjoy a diet of live meal worms and crickets. Life span of a Meerkat is less than 10 years. Meerkats originate in South Africa.
Visitors for the Meerkats will see an interactive habitat complete with a window into their home and a Meerkat Maze playspace for children.
To visit the Meerkats and other animals go Chehaw, 105 Chehaw Park Road., 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Sunday. Contact (229) 430-5275 or log on to www.chehaw.org.