Picture Credit: CEN/ Daniel Zupanc
These pictures show four cute baby meerkats born weighing just 30 grams each after they open their eyes and take a look around their new home at the world’s oldest zoo.
The baby meerkats, born four weeks ago, have started adventuring out of their beds and into their enclosure, where they can be seen by zoo visitors for the first time.
The meerkats were born on May 24th to proud first-time mum Zuzu and father Chilili.
Zoo Director Dagmar Schratter said: “The four meerkats were born on May 24th weighing just a tiny 30 grams each, without fur and blind.
She added: ” They spent the first four weeks of their lives in their protected den.”
But now the meerkats are can be seen enthusiastically exploring their new enclosure.
Zoo worker Stephanie Panzenboeck said: “Zuzu is a great mother. For the first week and a half she only let the babies alone to go and get food. Now she will leave them with their older half siblings, which is common for meerkats.”
Meerkats live in colonies. Each member has a clearly defined role. The team work is key to their survival in the wild .
Panzenboeck added: “They learn everything they need to know to be a proper meerkat through play. They start to learn to dig and how to hunt. It is funny to watch them as they try to stand on their back legs like the older meerkats.
The babies, whose sex is still unknown are still fed by their mother.
Meerkats live in all parts of the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, in much of the Namib Desert in Namibia and southwestern Angola, and in South Africa.
In captivity, meerkats have an average life span of 12–14 years, and about half this in the wild.