Meerkat Pups Born at Zoo

Posted Jun 30th, 2014 by Andi Norman  Category: Community Interest, Toledo.com


Four meerkat pups were born on May 23 at the Toledo Zoo. Their genders are currently unknown, as the Zoo’s animal care staff allows newborn animals to bond fully with their mother before humans handle them.

Like all meerkat pups, when born these were mostly hairless, with their eyes and ears shut. Their eyes opened when they were about two weeks old, and at about three weeks of age they started eating solid food and exploring outside the family’s underground burrows. These burrows are complex structures that include mounds, access holes, tunnels and sleeping chambers.

The new pups are on exhibit in Tembo Trail with their older siblings, all born within the last year: a female and two males born on Feb. 23, and a male born on Nov. 26, 2013. The best times to see the new pups are in the morning and in late afternoon.

Native to Africa, meerkats are carnivorous (meat eaters), and they belong to the mongoose family. A group of meerkats is called a “mob” or “gang.” Meerkats are about 12 inches long and weigh about 2 pounds. They are not endangered.

Also new at the Zoo this year are Flamingo Key, Penguin Beach and ‘Keet Retreat, which just opened May 23. Flamingo Key, sponsored by Toledo Express Airport, shows off the “avian supermodels” that are back at the Zoo for the first time in decades. Near the historic Aquarium, Penguin Beach leads you right through the penguins’ exhibit, along with daily keeper-led penguin feeds sponsored by ProMedica. Just a couple minutes away, ‘Keet Retreat, sponsored by BP, offers a fun new walk-through encounter with these bright, friendly little birds.

Visitor experiences like these are just some of the reasons the Toledo Zoo is rated the #1 zoo in America and among the top ten family attractions nationwide. More information is at toledozoo.org.

Photo credit to Nancy Nielsen.

The Toledo Zoo is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and is located on the Anthony Wayne Trail (US 25), four miles south of downtown Toledo. For more information, please visit toledozoo.org or call 419.385.4040. Lucas County residents are admitted free of charge each non-holiday Monday from 10 a.m. to noon. Valid ID showing proof of residency is required.

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Andi Norman - Toledo Zoo | Toledo, OH

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