Good Zoo Announces New Meerkat Name & Winter Pre-School Programs

Meerkat born at Oglebay Good Zoo

The Good Zoo at Oglebay announced that the new meerkat born at the zoo on October 22 has been named Rafiki.

The Good Zoo at Oglebay announced today that the new meerkat born at the zoo on October 22 has been named Rafiki.  The zoo provided five names to vote on through Oglebay’s Facebook page and Rafiki received 63% of the votes.

“Rafiki, means ‘friend’ in Swahili, so I think it is a great name,” said Mindi White, Curator of Animals.   “We currently have four meerkats: Nala, Banga, Suri, and now Rafiki, at the meerkat exhibit in the main building at the zoo.”

White explained that meerkats live in groups called mobs and that they take turns watching for danger, digging burrows, foraging for food, and even babysitting.  “Our mob can be observed performing their natural behaviors of foraging, digging in the sand, scent marking, soaking up some sun, or being sentry (guard) in the windowsill,” said White.

The Good Zoo is currently open Sunday through Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. The zoo is open on New Year’s Eve from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and on New Year’s Day from 1:00 to 8:00 p.m.  Admission is $8.95 for adults and $5.75 for ages 3 through 12.  Ages 2 and under and zoo members are admitted free.  The Light and Music Extravaganza and the Winter Fantasies LASER Show are included with admission.  The zoo will close for public visitation on January 4 but will remain open for membership sales, scheduled education programs and birthday parties. Call 304-243-4030.

The zoo also announced its winter pre-school programs.  “Each pre-school class includes games, stories, songs, activities and of course, live animals,” said Vickie Markey-Tekely, Education Curator for the zoo. “These programs are designed for two to four year olds and a parent or guardian to explore nature and wildlife together.”

January’s classes include Winter Wonderland on January 20 or 23 and Are You Afraid of the Dark on January 27 or 30. Cost is $15.00 for zoo members, $19.00 for non-members and the fees include one child and up to two adults.  Additional siblings are $5.00 each and a discount is available for multiple program attendance. Registration forms and the complete pre-school schedule are available online at