Reid Park Zoo Welcomes Two Meerkat Pups
Reid Park Zoo’s meerkat mob has grown with the birth of two meerkat pups.
“The most exciting thing to watch is the meerkat pups begin to practice the skills of all adult meerkats, like digging. The little pups have to balance while moving their front legs to dig and often the early attempts are less than perfect, resulting in toppling over. With time they get stronger and more coordinated,” said Sue Tygielski, PhD, Director of Zoo Operations.
Meerkat pups are born with their eyes closed and very little hair. They spend the first several weeks of their life sticking close to mom and dad. Now that the pups are several weeks old, they are able to explore a little more on their own.
“The new parents and the pups are spending some of their time in the behind-the-scenes portion of their habitat while the pups are still in the earlier stages of their development. The family is visible to guests periodically when the pups are exploring but often prefer to sleep behind the scenes still.”
The pups visited the outside portion of their habitat for the first time earlier this week. While curious about their new surroundings, they are a cautious duo who stayed primarily in the doorway of the habitat watching as their parents enjoyed the outdoors.
While wild meerkat populations are currently stable, climate change has and will continue to impact their habitat. By taking steps to reduce our carbon footprint, we can help the earth maintain its natural cycles, such as the wet season that Kalahari Desert residents (such as meerkats) depend on for survival.