By Lana Guineay
In important cuteness news, Adelaide Zoo has announced the arrival of five meerkat pups (yes, they’re called pups), and they are predictably adorable.
Born in the small hours of the morning on Monday July 24, the fluffy month-old siblings are the first litter born at Adelaide Zoo in seven years, and made their public debut this week.
The first offspring of proud parents Miney and Swazi, they’ve been cuddled up in the burrow being looked after, and have just started to peek out for public view. Hit play to watch as the frolicking ensues:
“The pups are absolutely tiny, probably tipping the scales at about 100 grams each,” Adelaide Zoo Meerkat Keeper (dream job alert) Jenna Hollamby said.
The sex of the little ones will be determined at eight weeks’ old, when they’ll also receive vaccinations. For now, they’ll start to explore the big world outside, under the watchful eye of Jenna (and an oohing general public).
“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,” said Jenna.
“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 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.”
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. As a conservation charity which exists to save species from extinction, Adelaide Zoo is proud to have bred more than 80 meerkats since 1993.
Look at more baby animals. You know you want to.