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Can't stop, won't stop: These hyper meerkats will make you smile

by Rebekah Lowin / / Source: TODAY

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When TODAY visited Philly this past summer for a sneak peek at the Zoo's latest happenings, there was one group of animals that stood out among the rest: The meerkats.

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Sure, they might not be the biggest "cats" in the place. (And, well, they're actually not cats at all. They're part of the mongoose family.)

Still, they were definitely some of the cutest animals we saw.

Running through the Zoo360 trail system, a progressive type of enclosure that grants many of the Zoo's animal species a bit more freedom and fresh air, the little brown creatures frolicked in the sun. It almost seems like they've got triple the energy of all the other zoo animals combined.

These social animals have big personalities to go along with their amazing names: Petey Pete, Kgala and Nkosi, Ari, Sethunya and Lulama. And while digging, exploring and keeping a lookout are a few of their favorite hobbies, we're pretty sure they looked most excited when they were snacking.

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Yes, food is important to these little guys. Their favorite treat? Worms, delivered via paper bag. Though the extra work of tearing open the bag might seem frustrating, it's actually essential to their survival. That's because in the wild, they'd have to forage for all their food, so a little extra digging around allows them to maintain those instincts.

It's safe to say we won't be able to stay away from Philly and these fabulous creatures for too long.

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