Meerkats, a type of mongoose that lives on African savannas, are returning to Woodland Park Zoo May 1 in a new exhibit.

Meerkats, a type of mongoose that lives on African savannas, are returning to Woodland Park Zoo May 1 in a new exhibit.

Eight meerkats will live in a renovated exhibit that includes tunnels, a log den and naturalistic outcroppings. At the same time, a new play area for children will open next to the exhibit, which is adjacent to the Adaptations Building.

The zoo had a meerkat exhibit in the Adaptations Building 10 years ago, but the animals were moved out to make way for a Komodo dragon exhibit.

Several other species from the zoo’s night exhibit, which closed earlier this year, will be housed in newly renovated exhibit spaces in same building, including the Rodrigues fruit bats, the springhaas, the two-toed sloth and the semi-arboreal tamanduas (anteaters).

The $150,000 meerkat project, designed by Woodland Park Zoo staff, opens to the public with festivities on May 1. The new west entrance opens the same day.

The meerkat exhibit is being presented by U.S. Bank and The Seattle Times.