Not one, not two or even three, but four baby meerkats have finally taken centre stage at Banham Zoo.
The four siblings were born in July and spent much of their early days hidden from the zoo’s guests in one of the nest boxes provided by their keepers. However, now that the pups are over a month old they have started to venture outside, to the delight of the zoo’s visitors.
The birth has meant that the zoo has had to put its very popular meerkat experience on hold due to the protective nature of the parents but keepers are hopeful that these will recommence in a few months’ time once the pups are old enough to take part.
At around this time the zoo will also be able to microchip and determine the sexes of the four infants, although this species has been made famous in recent times by television adverts for car insurance, their keepers hope to be able to choose names more in keeping with their native South African habitat than Russian counterparts on television.
Meerkats are not classified as an endagered species by the IUCU as they are more widespread across much of western Southern Africa. They are however, an extremely charismatic species with enormous ambassadorial potential, helping the zoo to continue its work in conserving the world’s wildlife.