Bristol: Zoo Welcomes New Meerkats

29 September 2014, 14:02 | Updated: 29 September 2014, 15:02

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.