Meerkat Quads Born at Drusillas Park
Four baby meerkats have been born at the award-winning Drusillas Park in East Sussex and are starting to explore the world above ground level.
The tiny burrowers are making excellent progress. Mum, Trixie and Dad, Frank welcomed the quadruplets on 19 May, keeping the youngsters closely protected underground for the first two weeks. They have now started to leave the den alongside their 5 adult family members, with a babysitter supervising them at all times.
Meerkats are very social creatures, living in complex underground burrows in highly organised groups. Only one pair of meerkats will breed within a mob, giving birth to between two and five young at a time. However, all the members of the group will help to look after the youngsters and share the responsibility of raising the pups.
In the wild, meerkats are native to south-west Africa and are members of the mongoose family. They have long been a favourite at Drusillas, so revellers to the zoo have been delighted by the antics of four tiny additions.
The meerkats at Drusillas Park are looked after by Zoo Keeper, Lauren Amos who started as a volunteer at Drusillas in 2013 and has recently taken on a full time position in the team.
Lauren commented: "I feel very privileged to be working so closely with these animals; I was present on the day of the birth and even witnessed their very first moment outside.”
“At just a month old the babies have developed considerably and are already revealing their own little characters. Our smallest infant has formed a close bond with dad, Frank and shows no fear. The other three pups are very confident and are constantly trying to steal food off of the older family members.”
“I am really looking forward to watching them grow and develop into fine adults in the coming months.”