Taronga Zoo has welcomed their sixth litter of pups for mother, Narobi. The new mother has been keeping a close eye on her two offspring who are beginning to emerge from their den and explore their surroundings.
The two pup’s genders are yet to be determined, Taronga will name the pair when their sex is apparent. Both pups will be given a Swahili name to reflect their African heritage.
As with all Meerkat pups, the yet-to-be-named pups are developing very quickly. Carnivore Keeper Maz Boz says
“The infants are starting to eat bits of fruits, veggies and fly pupae. The 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,” said Maz.
“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,” said Maz.
“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.
Nairobi and father, Maputo are important to the pup’s rearing, along with other members of the troop, who assist with caring and protecting the pups and they grow. Because of this, Taronga’s keepers are hands-off with the meerkat manor, as politics are 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”, said Maz.
The Meerkat pups can be seen on exhibit with the rest of the troop, which now comprises of 18 Meerkats in total.
“A great time to see the Meerkat pups, as well as the other members of the troop, is at the daily keeper talk and feed at 11:30 am,” said Maz.
Lead image: Taronga