New Zealand's Wellington Zoo welcomed a pair of Meerkat pups in January. The couplet is vivacious and healthy according to zoo officials. The birth of new Meerkats is a great opportunity for zoo visitors to observe how each Meerkat has special duties that benefit the group. The babysitters stay close to the burrow with youngsters under their care. The sentries will scan the horizon and sky for predators and the hunters will dig for food, some of which will be given to the young. The young will accompany the group on foraging trips from about 2 months.
Four little meerkat pups were born on October 31, at Wellington Zoo in New Zealand. Their mother is named Feta... but the father is unknown. Feta could have paried off with any one of the 5 males in the mob.
One of the babies first ventured out into the sunshine on exhibit with the others at only three weeks old. The rest of it's siblings stayed behind in the den. 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.
Now over 6 weeks old, they all have been out in the yard. Not only that - they have gotten confident enough to attempt snagging their food right from the grown ups, as seen in the video below!
Last summer Marwell Wildlife Park in Hampshire, UK, built a new home for its meerkats and this allowed the park to introduce a breeding group. The meerkats are obviously very happy as they have had three meerkats born. The pups made an appearance last week and are delighting visitors with their playfulness!
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
Photo Credit: Belfast Zoo
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.
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
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.
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!
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.