IT'S a long way from the deserts of Africa, but Edinburgh Zoo's meerkat family are enjoying their new home.

The animals have been moved into an enclosure fitted with heated caves, tunnels and a sand area for digging.

Best-selling writer Alexander McCall Smith is a fan and was invited to the grand opening of the enclosure.

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The author of the screenplay for the 2008 film Meerkats: The Movie, said: "Meerkats are just so interesting. Children love them dearly and adults also rather like meerkats. They have become sort of little animal celebrities, which they have handled very well. It hasn't spoiled them."

Picture: Danny Lawson/PA