Meerkat ‘baby boom’ at Taronga

By AG Staff Writer 21 September 2016
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Taronga Zoo is celebrating the birth of the second litter of meerkat pups this year.

TWO MEERKAT PUPS were born at Taronga Zoo last month – the second litter born to parents Nairobi and Maputo, who had another pair of pups in January.

Zookeepers are yet to confirm the sex of the pups, but they suspect they’re both female. Their siblings born in January, Lwazi and Serati, are male and female.


The newest additions to Taronga Zoo’s meerkat mob with their two older siblings. (Image: Paul Fahy/Taronga Zoo)

“[Nairobi and Maputo] are fantastic and attentive parents, but it’s also been wonderful to watch big sister Serati play a role in caring for the pups,” said keeper, Courtney Mahoney. “She’s grooming them, helping to babysit and always checking on them to make sure they’re safe. It’s incredible to see such a young Meerkat stepping up and taking on that responsibility.”

Despite only weighing a few grams when born on 18 August, the newest additions to the Zoo’s meerkat mob now weigh over 150g and have begun to try solid foods, such as mealworms and vegetables.


The two new pups were born on 18 August weighing just a few grams each. (Image: Paul Fahy/Taronga Zoo)

“As of this week they’re eating most of the adult diet. Mum and dad will collect insects for them and they’re starting to nibble on some fruit and veggies. They’re also learning to dig and stand on their hind legs for sentry duty,” said Courtney.

Before the birth of siblings Lwazi and Serati in January this year, the last meerkat born at Taronga Zoo was their mum, Naorobi, back in 2009.

Meerkats are native to southern Africa and have adapted to live in places with harsh conditions, scarce water and food, and many predators.


The two new pups are the second litter to mum and dad Nairobi and Maputo. Before them, mum Nairobi was the last meerkat born at the zoo. (Image: Paul Fahy/Taronga Zoo)


Baby meerkats are a handful. (Image: Paul Fahy/Taronga Zoo)