Our small mammals are very special to us here at the zoo as they prove that every animal, whatever its size, is of value in our diverse eco-system. Our individuals here will also likely capture your heart when you hear their background stories, as many have come from unhappy situations. Which will you fall in love with?
Meerkats live in desert areas throughout most parts of central Africa, and in South Africa. A group of meerkats is called a "mob", "gang" or "clan". A meerkat clan often contains about 20 meerkats, but some super-families have 50 or more members.
Matilda, Mauve and Monica
Our endearing meerkat sisters came to us from Tropical World, Leeds and are now seven years old. Mauve and Monica are the more dominant, with naughty little Matilda bringing up the rear. Which one will be digging, which one on sentry duty and which one hiding when you visit?
Bennett’s Wallabies originate from the cooler regions of Southern Australia so are really at home in our climate. These gentle creatures spend their days casually grazing and relaxing in their social group.
Uluru, Alice, Dudley, Maruku, Wallace and Yulara
With one exception, our wallabies came to us from the wonderful Tapnell Farm on the Isle of Wight. Born in 2011, Elmo, our established male, was joined recently by mum Uluru and her daughter Alice. Two more males, Maruku and Wallace, plus little female Yulara complete the happy mob.
Native to tropical regions of South America, these amazing creatures are true acrobats having the ability to climb up trees and back down head first, thanks to very flexible joints.
Grant and Sattler
Born in 2006 Grant and Sattler came to us from an animal rescue centre, having previously been forced to work and kept in horrific conditions. With time and patience, our animal care team slowly gained their trust and gradually introduced them to enrichment to promote natural coati behaviour including climbing, socialising and foraging. Come and find out which is the more mischievous and which the more greedy of our gorgeous coati pair.
Originally from North and Central America, this species now has established and growing non-native populations in Europe and Asia.
Liberty, Otoo and Aala
Here at the zoo we have three beautiful raccoons: Liberty, born in 2011, who was an ex-pet from a private owner plus brother and sister duo Otoo and Aala, born in 2013 who joined her from Five Sisters Zoo. Otoo and Aala are very shy, whilst Liberty is very interactive. All enjoy dipping their toes in our water pool and washing their food, just as wild raccoons would do.
Found in central and southern regions of the African continent, the porcupine is the world’s biggest rodent. These animals have the most beautiful quills of three different types, used for different purposes.
Trinity is now in her mid-twenties and is very friendly. If you are lucky, you may catch a glimpse of this elusive, nocturnal creature around closing-time, when she emerges ready for a night-time of foraging.
Lesser Hedgehog Tenrec
These animals live in the west and south-west regions of Madagascar in spiny forest. Naturally nocturnal, they look and behave just like the hedgehog and are therefore a perfect example of what scientists call ‘convergent evolution’.
Salt, Cinnamon and Nutmeg
Ten-year-old mum, Salt, came to us from Paradise Wildlife Park, then in 2011 along came Cinnamon and Nutmeg. Once you get through their prickly exterior, they’re all softies underneath!
These creatures live across central African countries, in areas of grassland.
Maui and Moana
Maui and Moana came to our animal family here at the Isle of Wight Zoo via a rescue centre, after private owners could no longer look after them. They are nocturnal and shy around humans, but are none the less deserving of a safe, forever home, which we are happy to provide.
Found throughout Europe, though sadly in decline in Britain, this engaging species is the gardener’s friend, as it munches its way through those species considered pests to a good vegetable crop.
Norman and Piglet
These two severely injured native wild hedgehogs came to the zoo from an Isle of Wight rescue centre. Neither is able to be released back into the wild and so will stay safe with us for the rest of their days. They help us to educate visitors about positive actions we can all take to ensure better care of our native wild species.