Two meerkats (Suricata suricatta) died acutely and gastric bezoars were found at necropsy. Four of the eight remaining meerkats had bezoars identified radiographically. Surgical gastrotomies were performed and bezoars containing orange fibrous material were removed. Histologic examination of the bezoars and persimmon fruit from a tree in the exhibit revealed that the materials were identical. Tannins found in ripe persimmons are known to coagulate in the presence of gastric acid, and the resultant phytobezoars can lead to gastrointestinal obstructions. All four meerkats recovered uneventfully. The combination of interspecies aggression and a diet change may have led to consumption of persimmons produced by a tree in the exhibit. Persimmon phytobezoars are also seen in humans and horses.
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