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29 September 2014, 14:02
A new batch of meerkat triplets have come into the world at Bristol Zoo.
Mum, Babushka, gave birth to her twelfth litter - coincidentally - on September 12th.
The new babies mean that the zoo is now home to 27 meerkats.
Lynsey Bugg, assistant curator of mammals at Bristol Zoo, said:
"The triplets have spent their first couple of weeks safely snuggled up with mum or another designated ‘babysitter’, most often somewhere quiet like a nest box or in the tunnel system of their enclosure.
"In the wild, pups would not emerge from a burrow until they were two-three weeks old. Mum will feed them frequently but the whole group should help to keep them safe and warm and they are commonly found at the bottom of a huddle.”
Meerkats are sociable animals, living in large groups.
The colonies are close-knit: each meerkat takes on special duties e.g. sentry, baby-sitter, and hunter, to benefit the group as a whole.