Three baby meerkats venture out at Edinburgh Zoo

Rosie Vare
Baby meerkats at Edinburgh Zoo
Baby meerkats at Edinburgh Zoo

These three meerkat pups are the latest arrivals at Edinburgh Zoo.

They have joined the rest of the animals at Meerkat Plaza and are starting to head outside the burrow into the open air.

Meerkat Plaza was unveiled in April 2014 and the enclosure can be found close to the entrance of the zoo.

The popular animals can make the most of sanded areas designed for digging, large rock features, caves, heat pads and a meerkat house as well.

Meerkats have become the most well-known members of the mongoose family and are collectively known as a 'mob'.

In the wild they inhabit dry, open areas with short grass like the Kalahari and Namib Deserts in Botswana and Namibia respectively.

Andrew Laing, Carnivore Keeper at Edinburgh Zoo, said: "The meerkats are always a favourite with our visitors, so it's wonderful to see some new additions to the group. At only four weeks old the pups are settling in well and their individual personalities are starting to show.

"Mum Queen and dad Ace are doing really well and are getting plenty of help from other members of the group to raise the pups as meerkats are actually cooperative breeders, which means that all adults within the group will help to care for the young.

"At around four weeks old they will start to explore outside of the den. It's good to see them out and about learning how to catch their own food."

When visiting the zoo, remember to keep an eye out for the four large wooden meerkat benches with hand crafted carvings that have been created by local chainsaw artist, Iain Chalmers.\

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