The Meerkat exhibit at the Edinburgh Zoo is abuzz with the pitter patter of tiny feet – five babies were born on May 8.
Photo Credit: Edinburgh Zoo
The babies were born to Queenie, who is also the mother of three pups born earlier this year. The pups spent their first few weeks in the nest box with Queenie, but are now beginning to explore their surroundings.
Meerkats live in groups of 3-50 animals called mobs. They are cooperative breeders, which means all adults within the group share the responsibility of raising the pups. Keepers have yet to name and determine the gender of the little Meerkats.
Native to the arid grasslands of southern Africa, Meerkats feed on small lizards, frogs, small birds, millipedes, beetles, grasshoppers, and any type of insect they can find. Groups emerge at dawn to forage, and one Meerkat assumes the role of sentry. This individual stands atop a rock or other high place and keeps watch for predators. The mob is alerted of danger by a repertoire of alarm calls, depending on the severity of the threat.
In the wild, Meerkats are not considered under threat.
See more photos of the baby Meerkats below.