Meerkat

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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Five Meerkat Pups Welcomed At Dubbo Zoo

Taronga Western Plains Zoo has welcomed five Meerkat pups at a behind-the-scenes location to new Meerkat breeding pair, Howell and Midra.

Howell and Midra arrived at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Spring 2020 from two other wildlife parks.  Following their introduction to each other, keepers observed lots of positive breeding behaviour with their first litter of pups being born on 23 November 2020.

Meerkat pups_photo credit Sebastian Bocaz (3) (1)
Meerkat pups_photo credit Sebastian Bocaz (3) (1)
Meerkat pups_photo credit Sebastian Bocaz (3) (1)

Continue reading "Five Meerkat Pups Welcomed At Dubbo Zoo" »


Meerkat triplets: no school holidays for the baby meerkats

 

As soon as the baby meerkats emerged from their den at Basel Zoo, their lessons at meerkat 'school' began. After all, practice makes perfect!

The tiny meerkat triplets peeked out of their den for the first time on 19 September. Their mother gave birth to them in the underground passageways four weeks earlier. The trio are now confidently darting  around between the adults’ legs and watching everything they do very closely.

Venomous animals on the menu

The offspring were born after a pregnancy lasting just eleven weeks. Meerkats are carnivorans belonging to the mongoose family. They live in large social groups and can be found in the open, dry areas of southern Africa. They like to eat insects, snakes and other reptiles. However, they first have to learn how to catch them, a process that is not without its dangers. This is why baby meerkats go to ‘school’. Step by step, they follow the older animals and observe them looking for food and catching prey. Initially, they are given prey that is already dead, but later they learn how to catch venomous animals themselves and how to eat them safely.

Learning by imitating

Identifying dangers, whether in the air or on the ground, is a skill that has to be learned. There are up to 30 different sounds to learn. Baby meerkats learn by imitating the behaviour of the adults: they sit back on their hind legs and practice watching the sky attentively, just like their ‘teachers’. If there is any danger, the ‘watchers’ emit a cry of alarm and all the creatures disappear into the burrow.

Sleeping is the only thing that young meerkats do not have to learn to do, as after an exhausting day at school, they naturally cuddle up together and their mother wraps herself around them.

Basel Zoo is currently home to 14 meerkats of varying ages.


Why are these Perth Zoo Veterinarians So Happy?

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These Perth Zoo Veterinarians have a lot to be thankful for! They are giving this tiny baby Meerkat Kit a clean bill of health. This is no ordinary Meerkat kit, however. He's just returned to the Zoo via police escort after going MISSING!! Find out what happened tomorrow (Wednesday, November 21) at 12:00PM Noon EST when we air the penultimate episode of 'ZooBorns: Australia!', our Facebook Watch show.


Four Mischievous Meerkats Born at Chester Zoo

Four playful meerkat pups born at Chester Zoo (57)

Four mischievous Meerkat pups have been born at Chester Zoo.

The quadruplets have been tucked away in their den since being born on March 26, but have started exploring their habitat for the very first time.

Four playful meerkat pups born at Chester Zoo (5)
Four playful meerkat pups born at Chester Zoo (5)
Four playful meerkat pups born at Chester Zoo (5)Photo Credit: Chester Zoo

The new arrivals, which have not yet been sexed or named by keepers, were born to first-time parents Huskie and Beagle.

Lead keeper Kirsten Wicks said, “Parents Huskie and Beagle have been minor celebrities since they appeared on Channel 4’s The Secret Life of The Zoo last month. Visitors have been really keen to know how they’re getting on, so it’s amazing to be able to share the great news about their new arrivals.”

“This is their first litter and the pups are doing incredibly well, they have already began learning how to forage for food and are spending lots of time grooming and playing together. It’s the start of a growing, happy new mob!” Wicks said.

Meerkats are native to South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, and Angola and inhabit open country and sparse woody scrublands. Most live in underground burrows in groups of about 30 individuals called a gang or a mob. They mark their territories with scent glands, which are located below their tails. 

Expert diggers, Meerkats can close their ears to keep dirt out while excavating. The dark patches around their eyes help reduce glare on the sunny African savannah. They feed primarily on insects and other invertebrates. At this time, Meerkats are not threatened and are listed as a species of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

See more photos of the quadruplets below.

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Meerkat Siblings Join the Troop at Taronga

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Keepers at Taronga Zoo Sydney are excited by the arrival of two Meerkat pups, born on January 20.

This is the sixth litter of pups for mother, Narobi, who has been keeping a close eye on her offspring as they emerge from the den and explore their surroundings. The pair was fathered by Maputo.

The sex of the duo is yet-to-be-determined, so they are currently without names. However, when the time is right, their names will likely be taken from the Swahili language to reflect their African heritage.

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4_Photo 8-2-18  2 25 38 pmPhoto Credits: Taronga Zoo Sydney

As with all Meerkat young, the pups are developing very quickly. Carnivore Keeper, Maz Boz, said, “The infants are starting to eat bits of fruits, veggies and fly pupae. They learn to eat solids by mimicking their parents and siblings, which is a natural behaviour in the wild.”

“The pups are now standing on their hind legs, which will play an important role during sentry duty watches when they become adults,” Maz added. “The pups are now starting to emerge outside after a few weeks being in their dens, visitors can see the pups for short periods each day as they start to grow in confidence and explore their home.”

“Mum, Nairobi, is a very experienced mother having her sixth litter, two daughters, Serati and Xolani, also learning from her and being very tentative and assisting their mother in babysitting the pups whilst mum has a break,” said Maz.

Both Narobi and father, Maputo, play an important role in rearing the pups. The other members of the troop will also assist with caring for and protecting the pups as they grow and develop.

According to the Keepers at Taronga Zoo, they are quite hands-off with the Meerkats. They choose to allow the “politics” to be sorted out by the animals within their own hierarchy.

“They may be young, but they’re already showing signs of their own little personalities. They are both quite outgoing, adventurous and inquisitive jumping on the other Meerkats to play,” Maz concluded.

The Meerkat pups can be seen on exhibit with the rest of their troop, which is now comprised of eighteen in total. According to Maz, the best time to catch a glimpse of the pups is during the daily Keeper Talk and feeding at 11:30am daily.

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Meerkat Pups Named After Santa's Reindeer

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Three Meerkat pups born at the Brevard Zoo on December 4 have been given Christmas-themed names after fans voted in an online contest.

The tiny triplets were named Vixen, Comet, and Cupid after three of Santa’s Reindeer. The genders of the pups are not yet known.

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Meerkat-pupsPhoto Credit: Brevard Zoo


At birth, the Meerkat pups’ eyes and ears were closed, and they each weighed about one ounce (roughly the weight of five U.S. quarters). They were born to mom Cashew, age three, and five-year-old dad Kirabo. For now, the trio is still behind the scenes with their parents and several other adults. Young Meerkats typically remain in the burrow for about a month before emerging to explore the outside world.

Meerkats are found only in southern Africa, where they inhabit grasslands and savannahs. Strong social bonds exist among members of a mob. One member will stand guard while others forage for insects, lizards, and small mammals. Adults share the task of teaching younger members of the mob how to find food and avoid predators.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists Meerkats as a species of Least Concern, meaning that Meerkats are not under a serious threat at this time.


Meerkat Triplets Emerge at Australia's National Zoo

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Australia’s National Zoo & Aquarium Canberra is celebrating the arrival of three Meerkat pups, the first ever to be displayed at the zoo.

Weighing just over five ounces each, the tiny triplets were born August 21 and emerged from their den just last week.

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21761544_10155651064175645_1562556253492468978_nPhoto Credit:  National Zoo & Aquarium Canberra

Their mother, Sekai, and dad, Sergei, are attentive parents. They’re helping the little pups learn about life above ground and introducing them to their older brothers, who often serve as babysitters.

Found only in southern Africa, Meerkats are well-known for their strong social ties.  One Meerkat will stand guard as the rest of the mob fans out to forage for insects, lizards, scorpions, eggs, and small mammals. 

Meerkats are expert diggers, able to move their weight in sand within a few seconds.  They dig to locate food and create an elaborate system of underground burrows.

Baby Meerkats remain in their burrow with mom for about one month before they emerge and start learning to find food on their own.  An adult from the mob usually teaches the young Meerkats how to find food and stay safe from predators. 

See more photos of the tiny triplets below!

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Meerkat Pups Emerge for Mischief at Nashville Zoo

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Nashville Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of three Meerkats on August 17.

The trio is the first offspring for parents Calvin (age 11) and Victoria (age 9). The pair has been together for 2.5 years but never successfully produced pups.

“Calvin and Victoria are proving to be great parents and have shown constant attention to the new additions,” said Sabrina Barnes, Area Supervisor of Primates. “We are very excited to once again have Meerkat pups at Nashville Zoo!”

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3_36387283684_3985559802_bPhoto Credits: Rachel Schleicher

Keepers have noticed Calvin and Victoria taking turns caring for the pups. When Victoria is not in the burrow nursing, Calvin is inside caring for them. Meerkat society is centered around family groups (known as “mobs”), relying heavily on group cooperation. The pups will stay at the Nashville Zoo to live in a family group.

The average litter size for Meerkats ranges from 1 to 6 pups, and pups average 25-35 grams in weight when born.

Meerkats are currently listed as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List. They live throughout southern Africa and are present in several protected areas, with no major threats at this time.

Nashville Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan for this species to maintain the captive population.


Five Adorable Meerkat Pups Emerge at Adelaide Zoo

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Adelaide Zoo recently announced the birth of five incredibly adorable Meerkat pups!

Born in the early hours of the morning on July 24, the month-old pups are the first offspring born to proud parents, Miney and Swazi.

The new arrivals are an exciting addition to the Adelaide Zoo family as they are the first Meerkats born at the zoo in seven years.

The yet-to-be-sexed youngsters have spent the first few weeks of life in their burrow being looked after by mum and dad, and have just started to venture outside.

Adelaide Zoo Meerkat Keeper, Jenna Hollamby, said, “The pups are absolutely tiny, probably tipping the scales at about 100 grams each.”

Hollamby continued, “The youngsters are still a little unsure of the big new world outside, but with a bit of encouragement from mum and dad they have started to explore their home. Miney and Swazi are doting first-time parents, tending to the pups every need and taking turns at sentry duty guarding their burrow.”

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Visitors to Adelaide Zoo will start to see the pups in their habitat in front of the Giraffe for short periods each day, as they grow in confidence and start to explore the outside world.

“The pups are still spending a lot of time inside, but every day, they explore further from their burrow and are becoming more adventurous,” Jenna Hollamby said. “The best time for visitors to try and catch a glimpse of the new family is first thing in the morning or when the sun is shining.”

The pups’ sex will be confirmed during their eight-week check-up, where they will also receive their first vaccinations and an overall health examination.

As a conservation charity, which exists to save species from extinction, Adelaide Zoo is proud to have bred more than 80 Meerkats since 1993. Meerkats (Suricata suricatta) are native to southern Africa and can be found in the Kalahari Desert. They have adapted to living in very harsh conditions and climate, with little water, limited food and many predators.