Meerkat

Meerkat Pup Trio Born At Dubbo Zoo

Keepers at Taronga Western Plains Zoo are delighted by the birth of three Meerkat pups on 16 August 2021 to parents Midra and Howell.

This is the second litter for Midra and Howell, having welcomed five pups in late November 2020. This new litter comprises of one male and two females. The pups are yet to be named and have recently emerged from their den.

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“The pups generally stay in the den for the first couple of weeks of life until they open their eyes and get stronger,” said Meerkat Keeper, Karen James.

“The trio has only recently emerged from the den and we are really happy with how they are growing and developing.”

The five older siblings play a very important role in helping to babysit and care for the new pups. Whilst they rely on mum for milk for now, they will start trying solid food at around four weeks of age.

“At six weeks of age the Meerkat pups will have their first of three vaccinations and we will conduct a quick physical examination at the same time,” said Karen.

“We are looking forward to watching the pups grow both in size and confidence as they start to explore their habitat more and more.”

Whilst it is temporarily closed, the Zoo will be provide regular updates on the new arrivals through its social media channels.

“No doubt when the Zoo does reopen a visit to see the Meerkats will be high on the list of things to do, as they don’t stay little for long,” said Karen.

This recent birth brings the total number of Meerkats at The Waterhole precinct to 10. There is also a second group of Meerkats next to the Black Rhinos at the start of the zoo circuit.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo is currently closed. For more information visit www.taronga.org.au/dubbo.


Four Baby Meerkats Born At The Netherlands’ Amersfoort Zoo

Four meerkats have been born at Amersfoort Zoo.

Jong stokstaartje ontdekt het verblijf in DierenPark Amersfoort

“Last spring, pups were born at Amersfoort Zoo for the first time in twenty years and now we are welcoming meerkat pups again, just before the start of autumn,” says animal caretaker Marc Belt. “This loving Meerkat couple has really bonded and that's special: meerkats are very picky when it comes to choosing a mate.”

“For meerkats to form a breeding pair, there must be a strong click between the two before they land on a pink cloud. A pregnancy lasts about 2.5 months in these animals. At birth, the young are initially blind, deaf and bald. After about ten days, their eyes and ears open and they explore the world. When mother goes out in search of food, the rest of the group babysits the young meerkats. They are very caring animals,” says Marc.

The birth of another four meerkats is hopeful. Marc: “The two seem to be a good match, so I hope that this 'birth wave' continues and that we can welcome even more young meerkats to Amersfoort Zoo.”


Meerkat Singleton Born at Schönbrunn Zoo in Vienna, Austria

Zuzu has done it again: The head of the meerkat group at Schönbrunn Zoo had offspring for the third time on July 25th. This time it's just a cub. This is unusual because there are usually two to four young animals in a litter. For the little one, however, it is definitely an advantage. “The young animal is really round. It finally gets all of the milk. In addition, as an only child, it enjoys everyone's full attention. The older sister Chimara likes to look after the little one and is also a playmate, ”says zookeeper Nadine Bräuer. The young animal was born in a protective cave in the earth - only about 30 grams in weight, blind and completely helpless. It is now big enough to accompany the group of seven on their forays through the area.

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Meerkats live in the savannas and semi-deserts in southern Africa. Zoo director Stephan Hering-Hagenbeck researched African reptiles as part of his doctoral thesis in the Kalahari. He got to know meerkats as cheeky guys. “They kept sneaking into our tent to steal reptiles or our own food,” recalls Hering-Hagenbeck. Meerkats are small predators. The young animal, whose sex is not yet known, was suckled in the first few weeks. It is now eating insects. Meerkats are known for standing upright on their hind legs to keep an eye out for birds of prey and other dangers. Even the little one can do it like a big one with its four weeks.

Photos: Daniel Zupanc


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)

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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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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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