August 18, 2023 6:49 pm
Dubbo, New South Wales, Australia
The meerkat mob at Taronga Western Plains Zoo has expanded for the second time this year with the birth of six pups to mother, Madira. She gave birth on August 2nd 2023 with keepers reporting that mum and bubs are doing well.
Madira and father, Howell now have their paws full with 10 pups under six months of age.
Keeper Rez Onay said, "Coming in each morning and seeing the pups, it’s the best part of the day.''
“They’re very cute and our main job is watching the behaviour of the family, making sure everyone is happy and well and looking after the new arrivals.
With the latest additions to their family there are now fourteen meerkats in the breeding group at Taronga Western Plains Zoo. In total the zoo are home to twenty meerkats.
“The family is doing a great job of looking after the pups, who are putting on weight and getting more active each and every day,” added Rez.
The pair are being supported with their new arrivals by their older pups as Rez explained, "It’s really important in the meerkat mob for everyone to take turns babysitting; even the four pups we had earlier this year have taken on big brother and sister roles and are doing an amazing job looking after everyone, making sure that Mum and Dad are getting the food and rest that they need.”
At present the family are keeping the pups mostly in the safety of the den. “The best time to see the pups will be when they are about 4-5 weeks of age, when they’re a little bit more adventurous and exploring their exhibit!” Advised Rez.
Meerkats are native to Africa where the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) list them as least concern. They serve an important role in maintaining the balance in their ecosystem by consuming large numbers of insects.
Text.Image: © Karen James/ Taronga Western Plains Zoo
About the Author
Cale has operated The Animal Facts since 2012. During this time he has volunteered and worked across a range of Australian Wildlife Parks something he continues to today. He holds a certificate in Animal Care and Husbandry.
Meerkats will dig in the sand to find their food. While digging both the eyes and ears are covered by specialized membranes which protect against sand filling these.
Image: © Karen James/ Taronga Western Plains Zoo
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