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Asante the Meerkat Passes Away Due to Old Age

Staff and visitors will miss this familiar face on the Catwalk.

Feb. 4, 2022 - The ABQ BioPark recently lost a longtime favorite when meerkat Asante passed away on January 26 due to old age.

According to keepers, Asante, who was 14 years old, surpassed the average meerkat lifespan by several years. He was the last remaining member of the BioPark’s meerkat troop. His sister Akina passed away in January 2020 at 12 years old.

Senior Zookeeper Tony York says staff gave Asante extra attention and goodies after his sister’s passing. Although meerkats are mostly insectivores, “he really enjoyed his pinkies (small mice),” York says.  Asante was also very inquisitive, and enjoyed interacting with any enrichment items he received. He could often be seen in his Catwalk home lying on a special bed made for him by a volunteer.

York says Asante will be missed by visitors and staff alike. “He was really bright, really vibrant,” York says. “All of us really adored that guy.”