These adorable meerkats appear to be living a simple life Down Under.
Following the arrival of their sibling on August 18, the twin pups were born at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo. This was the zoo’s second litter of puppies.
This week, the pair has begun venturing outside their nest box to explore Taronga’s African-themed Meerkat exhibit.
“They were eager to learn more about the surroundings,” said Keepers Courtney Mahoney and Tamir Pardo. “These pups are braver and more daring than the previous litter, in my opinion, because they have their mother, father, and two siblings to guide and protect them.”
This is the second litter for Nairobi and Maputo, who have had a male Lwazi and a female Serati in January.
“They’re wonderful and attentive parents, but it’s also been amazing to see big sister Serati play a role in caring for the pups. She’s grooming them, watching after them, and making sure they’re okay.”
It’s fantastic to see a young meerkat assume such a significant responsibility.
“They’re starting to eat almost the whole adult diet as of this week. Their mum and dad will collect insects for them, and they’ve started nibbling on fruit and vegetables. They’re also learning how to dig and stand up on their hind legs while on sentry duty.”
Keepers predict that the pups will be either male or female, and their sex will be determined next month after they receive their first veterinary examination. Keepers have started conducting brief hands-on health checks and weighing the pups frequently to guarantee that they are healthy and comfortable in their presence.
The unnamed pups are growing up fast. When they were born, they weighed only a few grams, but now they weigh over 150 grams and have begun to eat solid meals like mealworms and vegetables.
Meerkats are a desert-dwelling species native to southern Africa. They have developed the ability to live in regions with extremely harsh weather, little water, limited food, and numerous predators, including the Kalahari Desert. Their ears can fold down in the sandstorm, and they have dark circles around their eyes to reduce the harsh desert sun like sunglasses.