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’s sex, who are fathered by Maputo is yet to be determined so they are currently without names once gender is confirmed. The name will likely be taken from the Swahili language to reflect their African heritage.
As with all Meerkat young the yet-to-be named pups are developing very quickly. Carnivore Keeper Maz Boz says “the infants are starting to eat bits of fruits, vegies 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.
Both Narobi and father, Maputo play an important role in rearing the pups, along with the other members of the troop, who assist with caring for and protecting the pups as they grow and develop. The Keepers at Taronga Zoo are quite hands off with the Meerkats, the 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 11:30am,” said Maz.