Zoo keepers are putting their thinking caps on to come up with names for a litter of four baby meerkats that were born at the zoo earlier this year.
The four siblings were born in January 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 two months old they have started to venture outside on the warm spring days, much to the delight of the zoo’s visitors.
It will still be a few months before keepers are able to determine the sexes of the four infants, although meerkats have 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 their fictional Russian counterparts on television.
Meerkats are not classified as an endangered species by the IUCN[i] as they are 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.
[i] International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red Data List