Think of the most adorable baby animal possible, times that by 10 and you still won’t even be close to imagining the cuteness of Adelaide Zoo’s newest additions, five adorable Meerkat pups!
Born in the early hours of the morning on Monday, 24 July, the almost month-old pups are the first offspring born to proud parents, Miney and Swazi.
The new arrivals are an exciting addition to the Adelaide Zoo family as they are the first Meerkats born at the zoo in seven years.
The yet-to-be-sexed youngsters have spent the first few weeks of life in their burrow being looked after by mum and dad, and have just started to venture outside over the past week.
“The pups are absolutely tiny, probably tipping the scales at about 100 grams each,” Adelaide Zoo Meerkat Keeper Jenna Hollamby said.
“The youngsters are still a little unsure of the big new world outside, but with a bit of encouragement from mum and dad they have started to explore their home.
“Miney and Swazi are doting first-time parents, tending to the pups every need and taking turns at sentry duty guarding their burrow.”
Visitors to Adelaide Zoo will start to see the pups in their habitat in front of the Giraffe for short periods each day, as they grow in confidence and start to explore the outside world.
“The pups are still spending a lot of time inside, but every day, they explore further from their burrow and are becoming more adventurous,” Jenna said.
“The best time for visitors to try and catch a glimpse of the new family is first thing in the morning or when the sun is shining.”
The pups’ sex will be confirmed during their eight-week check-up in about a month’s time, where they will also receive their first vaccinations and an overall health examination.
As a conservation charity which exists to save species from extinction, Adelaide Zoo is proud to have bred more than 80 Meerkats since 1993.
Meerkats are native to southern Africa and can be found in the Kalahari Desert. They have adapted to living in very harsh conditions and climate, with little water, limited food and many predators.