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Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s Meerkat troop is growing rapidly with the birth of another three Meerkat pups overnight on Monday 10 October 2011.

The Zoo’s Meerkat breeding program is proving very successful with female Umi, giving birth in late July 2011 to her first litter after arriving at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in November 2011 from Auckland Zoo.

The yet to be named Meerkat pups are all doing well with father, Maputo, and mother, Umi, showing positive nurturing behaviours and being very attentive to the pups.

“The family unit are all working together to raise the pups, even the older offspring from the last litter are getting involved, snuggling with the newborns every now and then,” said Keeper, Karen Ellis.

“Maputo has taken on the role of chief babysitter while Umi goes out foraging for food,” said Karen.

The Zoo has seen great breeding results from the Meerkats recently, which is a testament to excellent animal husbandry and management practices.

 “The Meerkat pups will grow up fast.  Umi’s first litter born in late July 2011 is almost full size already, so if you want to catch a glimpse of these cute little Zoo babies come and see them soon,” said Karen.

“The Meerkats are a popular animal with visitors and the best time to meet our growing family is at the Meerkat Talk and Feed at 9:50am every day,” said Karen.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s now has nine Meerkats on exhibit.

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