"Meerkat mobs can be fierce, so to see how this group has successfully come together to raise these new pups has been really exciting," said a zoo spokesperson

By Benjamin VanHoose
June 30, 2020 04:39 PM
Credit: Jamie Pham/Los Angeles Zoo

This happy meerkat mob is doubling in size!

On Saturday, May 30, the Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens welcomed four "energetic" meerkat pups, raising their total meerkat count to eight. The newborns spent the first two weeks of their life in somewhat of a quarantine, nestled safely in a burrow with their mom.

As of last week, the little critters began emerging from their underground home to roam around their habitat, enjoying the California sun.

"It’s been fascinating to watch this mob of meerkats bond and create their social structure since their arrival a few years ago," Rose Legato, a senior animal keeper at the L.A. Zoo, said in a press release. "Meerkat mobs can be fierce, so to see how this group has successfully come together to raise these new pups has been really exciting."

Currently closed to the public due to the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the zoo hopes to reopen its gates in the near future so visitors can observe the new additions.

Credit: Jamie Pham/Los Angeles Zoo

"We look forward to the public returning to the Zoo, so they can see these little pups in person as they explore and dig around in their habitat," said Legato.

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Announcing the expansion of the meerkat mob on Instagram, the Los Angeles Zoo shared a video of the tiny animals stepping out and exploring for the first time.

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According to the zoo, a meerkat's gestation period is about 11 weeks, and a typical litter consists of two to five pups. By the time the pups are 2 months old, they'll look like the other adult meerkats. The animals are fed produce, mice, crickets, mealworms, eggs, and insectivore pellets.

Native to deserts and grasslands in Africa, meerkats enjoy the hot L.A. climate, according to the zoo, where they get "plenty of sunshine but not extreme temperatures in either direction."

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