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27 July 2011, 11:43 | Updated: 27 July 2011, 11:46
The new meerkat enclosure at Marwell Wildlife has been officially opened.
The facility promises to offer a unique insight into the complex world of the seven meerkats who live there.
It is more than twice the size of their previous home and includes more varied terrain, with heated rocks to keep the meerkats warm all year round. They're hoping now they have more space it will encourage the meerkats to breed.
The new exhibit has cost £55,000 to build and was partly paid for by public donations. It is being led by Marwell Wildlife's Education team who say it will offer the more outdoor learning opportunities for students. There is a special education area, with undercover seating for visitors.
Caramantha Wellstead, Head of Education at Marwell Wildlife said: "Observation of real animals is one of the first hand experiences that Marwell offers and the new exhibit will be an excellent tool for students visiting the park.
For example, animal behaviour is a vital element of the KS3 science curriculum and Marwell Wildlife will offer the perfect environment for these students. Meerkats are not only charismatic and fun to watch but they also have fascinating complex social groups."
There will now be a series of special talks at the meerkat enclosure.