Meerkat

Meerkat Kit Peeks Out From Under Mom

Pup in hands

This little Meerkat named Kingsley (after British explorer Mary Henrietta Kingsley) was born August 22 at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma, WA. He spends most of his time tucked under his family members, mainly his mother, Darwin.  

Meerkats are sexually mature at about one year. The females can have as many as three litters a year. There is no breeding season, and favorable conditions can lead to an increase in births.  After an 11 week gestation, an average of three offspring are born.  Babies are usually weaned between 49 and 63 days. Both mother and father may provide care to the offspring. Meerkats lifespan is from 5-15 years. 

Meerkats are highly social and live groups called mobs, which made up of as many as three family groups (up to 30 individuals total). Each family group is made up of parents and their offspring. Kingsley is doing well  and getting to know his extended family.

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Photo Credit: Seth Bynum / Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium


Masked Meerkat Kits Step Out Into The Sun

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There's the pitter patter of a lot of new paws at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, Australia. On July 24, keepers arrived at work to see that three Meerkat babies had come into the world. The pups have been in the den with their mother, Umi, and dad, Mapoto, tending to them, along with the subordinate maleBrock.

An experienced mother, Umi is doing a great job raising her offspring. The kits are now venturing out into the sun, exploring the habitat with mom and the other helpers in the mob, who are all working well together to ensure the pups are being properly cared for.

The pups will grow up fast reaching full size by about four months of age, so visitors should come out over the next couple of months to see these special new arrivals.

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Duo

 

Photo Credit: Taronga Western Plains Zoo


Baby Meerkat Mania!

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Keepers at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park near Ashford, United Kingdom, were delighted when they spotted that Tiggs, the matriarch of the Meerkat group at the wild animal park, was once again expecting. Tiggs had her first litter of three in April this year and on the June 28th keepers excitedly welcomed the latest additions to Tiggs’ growing ‘mob’.

Head Keeper Richard Barnes said: “I am delighted that Tiggs is such a good mum – I hand reared her when she was a kitten due to an illness, she recovered well and became strong and healthy and has now given birth to two healthy litters. The newborns are already playful and it’s hilarious to watch them teasing their siblings.”

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Photo credits: Port Lympne Wild Animal Park

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Four New Meerkat Kits Add to the Mob at Belfast Zoo

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At the end of May, four meerkat kits came into the world at Belfast Zoo in the UK.For the past four weeks, mom Fraggle has been caring for her babies in their underground burrow. But just a few days ago, the four kits emerged for the first time! They are enjoying the sunlight and beginning to explore their habitat with their parents. 

Belfast Zoo manager, Mark Challis is delighted with the new arrivals, “The meerkats are definitely one of the most popular animals in the zoo and in the past few years we have had great success with our breeding group. In fact, last year several of our meerkats were transferred to other zoos in the UK and have since gone on to have their own young.”

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With Mom

Photo Credit: Belfast Zoo

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Meerkat Kits at Paignton Zoo!

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About a month ago, these tiny Meerkat kits were born at Paignton Zoo in the UK. In these pictures they are about 10 days old.

The babies were born to mum Aurora and dad Kang. A Meerkat mother usually has two to five young, usually once a year, after a gestation period of 11 weeks. Kits come into the world with eyes and ears closed and are sparsely furred. Various adults will baby-sit the youngsters while the mother feeds. 

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Mom kits

The kits are now old enough to be seen on exhibit, and will be a part of the Zoo's Meerkat Encounters. Senior keeper Andrew Fry said: “We take visitors in to meet the mob and talk about their habits and their characteristics, then let people help out at feeding time. The pups are keen to get in on the act!”

A web camera has now been set up overlooking the meerkat enclosure. To view this, go to: http://www.paigntonzoo.org.uk/meerkatcam.php

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Photo Credit: Ray Wiltshire

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Yellow Mongoose Pups Just Days Old

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Three Yellow Mongoose babies were born last Sunday night (about one week ago from when these pictures were taken) to first time parents Basil and Sybil at Durrell Wildlife Trust. Yellow Mongoose litters usually consist of one or two individuals so having three is currently keeping Sybil very busy, but she is proving to be a great first time mom. Yellow Mongooses live with meerkats in the wild, and this natural behaviour is replicated at the conservation charity’s headquarters in the Channel Islands.

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At the moment the new babies are being kept hidden away by mum, their eyes have not yet opened and they are not strong enough to fend for themselves. But in another week or so they will be exploring outside, meeting their meerkat neighbours and in just a couple of months they will be completely weaned!


Spritely Little Meerkat Chap from Bristol UK

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Last week, Bristol Zoo visitor Mark Eastment got some great photos of a baby Meerkat pup out enjoying the sun with mom. Bristol Zoo Gardens’ new Meerkat exhibit, called Meerkat Lookout, was officially unveiled to the public on February 21st. The state-of-the-art enclosure was opened by 11-year-old Joe Romain, from Brentry, who cut the ribbon after winning a competition run by the Bristol Evening Post to name the new attraction. Builders have been hard at work over the winter months, constructing the meerkats’ new £100,000 home. At 152 square metres in size, it is over three times bigger than the previous enclosure, with space for up to 25 Meerkats.

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Photo credits: Mark Eastment


The Little Meerkat That Could

Photographer Sophie L. Miller caught a Newquay Zoo baby Meerkat struggling to get up the side of this slope. According to Miller, "the little fella was causing a lot of commotion; it kept trying to climb up that little dirt slope, and was getting quite distressed..."

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Meerkats are highly social critters and never stop looking out for their own. Here below we see an adult from the group offering up a treat moments later.  Miller said of the adult, "She kept setting a berry down by the baby's face, in an attempt to feed it, only to have it roll back down the slope. The adult meerkat would then pick the berry up and try again." One day this helpless fuzzy friend will grow up and return the favor, but for now, "It takes a village..."

4868614148_7eb25f2f40Photo Credits: Sophie L. Miller


England's Meerkats Show Home Team Pride

World Cup fever has spread to Bristol Zoo Gardens where the meerkats have spent the week playing with miniature soccer balls. Meerkats are inquisitive animals and footballs provide the perfect enrichment toy to play with. Keepers at Bristol Zoo are keen to show their support for the England team and are hoping that a win today will be ‘simples’.

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Photo Credits: Bristol Zoo and Gardens

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