A meerkat mom has recently delivered an adorable little pup that made its first-ever public appearance in an Austrian zoo.
Meerkat mom named Zuzu from the Tiergarten Schonbrunn Zoo located in the Austrian city of Vienna, has become a mother for the third time after giving birth to a cute pup on 25th July.
The little one, that weighted about 30 grams (0.06 lbs) and was blind and completely helpless when it was born, has now developed quite well and joined the rest of its seven family members in the outdoor enclosure.
Zoo keeper Nadine Brauer revealed that the newborn has an advantage growing up, as it has access to all of its mother’s milk since there were no other young born along with it.
Brauer said: “The young animal is really round. Of course, because it gets all of the milk.”
She added: “In addition, as an only child, it enjoys everyone’s complete attention. Older sister Chimara likes to look after the little one and play with it as well.”
According to the zoo keeper, it was quite unusual that the young one was the only one born in Zuzu’s underground cave since there are usually two to four young animals in a litter.
Meerkats (Suricata suricatta) which are listed as a least-concern species by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species are small predators native to the savannas and semi-deserts in southern Africa.
Zoo Director Stephan Hering-Hagenbeck who researched African reptiles during his PhD studies in the Kalahari Desert which extends for 900,000 square kilometres (350,000 sq mi) and covers much of Botswana, and parts of Namibia and South Africa reported he got to know meerkats as cheeky guys.
He said: “They kept sneaking into our tent to steal reptiles or our own food.”
Primarily insectivorous, meerkats feed heavily on beetles and lepidopterans, though they also include amphibians, arthropods, small birds, reptiles, and plant material in their diet.
Meercats live in burrows that have moderated internal temperatures and provide a comfortable microclimate that protects them in harsh weather and at extreme temperatures and environmental conditions.
The newborn pup, whose sex is still unknown, was suckled in for the first few weeks, but has recently started eating insects, while it even stands upright on its hind legs to keep an eye for birds of prey and other dangers, along with the other members of its group.
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Story By: Georgina Jadikovska, Sub-Editor: James King, Agency: Newsflash
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