And Finally

Thursday 21 August 2014

Meerkat triplets make public debut

Published 23/07/2013 | 16:32

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The newborn baby meerkats at Bristol Zoo Gardens, which welcomed triplets born on July 21

Three cheeky baby meerkats have ventured out into their enclosure for the first time.

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Keepers at Bristol Zoo Gardens welcomed the triplets on June 21, when they were born to mother Babushka.

Babushka has plenty of experience to manage the demanding brood, as they are her 11th litter.

The triplets are currently too young to be sexed so have not yet been named.

Lynsey Bugg, assistant curator of mammals at Bristol Zoo, said: "The triplets have spent their first few weeks safely snuggled up with mum or another designated 'babysitter', most often somewhere quiet like a nest box or in the tunnel system of their enclosure.

"In the wild pups would not emerge from a burrow until they were two to three weeks old.

"Mum will feed them frequently but the whole group should help to keep them safe and warm and they are commonly found at the bottom of a huddle."

Meerkats usually have between one and five pups per litter but three or four is average.

The new arrivals bring the number of meerkats at the zoo to 18.

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