Itty-Bitty Dwarf Mongoose Triplets Greet the World with "Tiny Squeaks' at Chester Zoo
The dwarf mongoose is Africa’s smallest carnivore
England's Chester Zoo has gotten sweeter and squeakier.
The zoo recently welcomed dwarf mongoose triplets. This the second litter for mom Hope and dad Cooper. Keepers believe the babies were born around February 16, but the zoo isn't sure of the exact date since the animals were born underground in a burrow.
Keepers realized the triplets arrived after hearing "tiny squeaks" coming from the burrow a few weeks ago. In the past few days, the baby mongeese have gained the confidence to venture above ground and explore their habitat with mom and dad. Along with their parents, the little ones have also started spending time with the five other mongeese that live in their exhibit — and they are a helpful bunch.
"Dwarf mongooses are really sociable animals and so the whole group play a part in helping to look after the new triplets. As well as mum, some of the other with females even start producing milk for them to ensure they're well-fed. They working together in teams to care for the youngsters, often deploying a lookout to alert the group to any danger while the babies are feeding," Dave White, team manager at Chester Zoo, said in a statement.
The triplets are currently around 12 centimeters long each. The dwarf mongoose is Africa's smallest native carnivore and a relative of the meerkat. Dwarf mongeese often grow to be 30 centimeters long and are known to do handstands to mark their territory and use chirps to communicate.
"Given the size of the pups, they’re a little too small to sex at the moment, but we should know if they’re male or female in the next few weeks," White adding that "playful" pack of babies are doing well.