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Meerkat pup with mother Umi

Keepers at Taronga Western Plains Zoo are delighted by the latest addition to the Meerkat troop, with a female pup born Monday 31 March 2014.

Since first arriving in 2010, mother Umi has now given birth to five litters. Umi is an experienced mother and is displaying positive maternal behaviours in rearing and caring for the newest pup, which keepers have named ‘Junkins’.

The first couple of weeks of life for a Meerkat pup are spent in the den until they open their eyes.

“The pup has only been out the den for a couple of weeks as she is starting to become more adventurous and interested in her new environment”, said Keeper Karen Ellis.

“She is very curious especially of her keepers and is already foraging and catching food on her own.”

“Umi is keeping a close eye on the pup as she starts to explore the environment around her but Junkins doesn’t venture too far from her side and is often spotted sunbathing with the group,” said Karen.

“Meerkats grow very fast from birth and are fully grown by the time they reach four months of age, so if visitors want to see this Meerkat while it’s still little they will need to come to the Zoo soon.”

“A great time to see Junkins and the Meerkat troop is at the daily keeper talk and feed is at 9.50am,” said Karen.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo now has 12 Meerkats on exhibit.