Amersfoort Zoo

Amersfoort Animal Park Welcomes First Meerkat Pups In 20 Years!

After more than twenty years, three meerkats have been born at Amersfoort Zoo.

De geboorte van deze drie stokstaartjes stemt hoopvol

“A very special moment, because a meerkat birth is no easy feat,” explains animal caretaker Marc Belt.

“Before meerkats form a love couple, they have to like each other very much. After two decades there is a match between a male and a female and that now results in three youngsters that are doing very well.”

These African predators have been living in the zoo for many years, but births have been delayed for a long time.

Meerkats are choosy in choosing their love partner.

There has to be a strong click between the two before they end up on a pink cloud.”

A pregnancy lasts about 2.5 months in these animals.

“At birth, the young are initially still blind, deaf and bald. After about ten days their eyes and ears open and they explore the world. When mom goes looking for food, the rest of the group babysits; they are very caring animals”, says Marc.

The birth of these three meerkats gives hope. Marc: “Love is in the air, so maybe we can expect more births soon.

Hopefully the park will be able to open its gates again on 11 May and visitors can come for a maternity visit in Amersfoort Zoo .

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Lion Cubs Explore the Outdoors at Amersfoort Animal Park

Amersfoort Animal Park’s two lion cubs are exploring their outdoor enclosure in for the first time. “They investigate their environment with great curiosity, without skipping a boulder, bush or hill”, says zookeeper Marc Belt. It is an extra special moment, because the lions also meet father Ramzes and aunt Zaila.

“The cubs are clearly enjoying their new environment. One of their favorites is a large pile of leaves in which they romp, ”says Marc. They also find the other lions somewhat interesting. “Zaila and the cubs especially visit each other. It is good to see that father Ramzes is very calm and lets the little ones do their thing. ”

Tante Zaila en de welpen zoeken elkaar veel op
Tante Zaila en de welpen zoeken elkaar veel op
Tante Zaila en de welpen zoeken elkaar veel op
Tante Zaila en de welpen zoeken elkaar veel op
Tante Zaila en de welpen zoeken elkaar veel op

The two female lion cubs were born a few weeks ago and are mother Sabi's first litter. “She acts like an excellent mother and keeps a close eye on her offspring. Even now that the youngsters are taking the first steps outside, she does not lose sight of them for a second. ” In recent weeks, the cubs have been able to get used to their father and aunt from a distance and that went well. In the coming days they will meet their family more often. Unfortunately, Amersfoort Zoo is now closed to visitors due to the lockdown, but hopefully everyone will be able to admire the lions starting January 20.

Little Elephant Born at Amersfoort Animal Park

At Amersfoort Animal Park this morning, elephant Kina gave birth to a small calf. “The elephant was born around 10:00 am. Special, because elephants are usually born at night,” says zookeeper Rob Saris. Mother Kina and her calf are doing well.

"The calf has already been nursing and Kina is keeping a close eye on her young," says the zookeeper. "It is Kina's second baby, so she now knows very well what motherhood means." It is still unclear whether the calf is a female or a male: “We can only see the sex when the calf has urinated for the first time,” Rob explains.

Olifantje geboren in DierenPark Amersfoort
Olifantje geboren in DierenPark Amersfoort
Olifantje geboren in DierenPark Amersfoort
Olifantje geboren in DierenPark Amersfoort

Amersfoort Zoo is currently temporarily closed due to the current Covid-19 measures and the newborn calf cannot be admired in the park yet. “Everyone can watch the calf's first steps via the live webcams”, says Rob. When the park opens its doors again, the elephant will occasionally be seen in a safe 1.5 meter opening. Visitors will enter the courtyard in small groups and accompanied by a guide. In addition, if the weather permits, the baby will explore the outdoor enclosure together with the herd every day. “As a visitor you will therefore have to be lucky to be able to spot the little one,” explains the animal caretaker.

Joy and sorrow are close together in the park these days. The escape and loss of two chimpanzees had a major impact on the animal handlers and other employees. “The grief is great, but this elephant birth is a ray of hope for all involved in this difficult time,” says Rob.