A pair of meerkats were greeted by the celebrity Stephen Fry, when he officially opened their new enclosure in Brent Lodge Park Animal Centre.

The female meerkats were given to the park by Tilgate Nature Centre in Sussex, as their group was getting too big and they needed a new home.

Their names, Chiku and Kali, are African meaning 'chatterer' and 'energetic'.

Meerkat at Brent Lodge Park Animal Centre
 

The enclosure, built with help from volunteers, is also home to Hatari, an African Cape porcupine. It is the latest in a series of regeneration works which have been completed in the park, locally called the Bunny park, in Hanwell.

Other developments include the renovation of the lake area including the introduction of a variety of waterfowl, refurbishment of the café and the launch of a keeper-for-a-day scheme, where children can get hands-on experience with the animals. 

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “Brent Lodge Animal Centre is an amazing hidden gem. This is yet another fantastic addition to what is already a family favourite attraction. I urge everyone to go and visit the centre and enjoy all the facilities on offer.”

Brent Lodge Animal Centre is part of Brent Lodge Park, which includes a playground, hedge maze and a butterfly house, as well as a gift stall, which is managed by Ealing Mencap.

The new meerkat enclosure was opened at the end of last month.