Smithsonian’s National Zoo family just got a little bigger!
Three baby meerkats were born at the zoo in the early morning of Wednesday, May 10, the zoo announced in a press release on May 24.
The meerkat pups were born to 5-year-old mother Sadie and 6-year-old father Frankie, marking the first meerkat birth at the zoo in 16 years. The pups are Sadie’s first offspring.
Typically, in the wild newborn meerkats borrow underground for around three weeks. Zoo staff prepared for this by running a tubing system hidden within the rockwork “to encourage the meerkats to exhibit their natural burrowing behavior.”
Meerkats live in “mobs,” or groups of roughly 10 to 15 meerkats. Currently, the staff isn’t interfering with the pups or mom. Instead, they are allowing Sadie to nurse her meerkat pups and monitoring how the pups interact and bond with the rest of the mob.
The pups are just beginning to open their eyes, and their sexes haven’t been determined yet as the keepers haven’t yet handled them.
For more information, please visit the Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s website.