Adorable meerkat pups arrive down under
These adorable meerkats look like they are going to find life ‘simples’ living Down Under.
The tiny babies are the second litter of pups to be born at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo this year after arriving on August 18.
The duo have just started venturing outside their nest box to explore Taronga’s African-themed Meerkat exhibit this week.
Keeper Courtney Mahoney said: “They were eager to investigate their new surroundings. These pups are more confident and adventurous than the previous litter and I think that’s because they have mum, dad and two siblings to support and protect them.”
This is the second litter for parents Nairobi and Maputo, following the birth of male Lwazi and female Serati in January.
Courtney said: “They are fantastic and attentive parents, but it’s also been wonderful to watch big sister Serati play a role in caring for the pups. She’s grooming them, helping to babysit and always checking on them to make sure they’re safe.
“It’s incredible to see such a young meerkat stepping up and taking on that responsibility.
“As of this week they’re eating most of the adult diet. Mum and dad will collect insects for them and they’re starting to nibble on some fruit and veggies. They’re also learning to dig and stand on their hind legs for sentry duty.”
The sex of the pups will be confirmed next month when they have their first veterinary examination, but keepers suspect they are both female. Keepers have started to do quick hands on health checks and are weighing the pups regularly to ensure they are healthy and comfortable in their presence.
The yet-to-be-named pups are developing quickly. Despite only weighing a few grams when born, they both now tip the scales at over 150 grams and have begun to sample solid foods, such as mealworms and vegetables.
Native to southern Africa, Meerkats have adapted to living in places with very harsh conditions, little water, limited food and many predators, such as the Kalahari Desert. They have ears that can close in the event of a sandstorm and dark patches around their eyes to lessen the desert glare like sunglasses.