29 August 2023

Baby meerkats explore their surroundings at safari park

29 August 2023

Three meerkat pups are settling into life at a safari park where they are the first to be born for five years.

They were born just over a month ago to first-time parents Cardi B and Biggie, who joined the meerkat community at Blair Drummond Safari Park in April 2022.

The three pups have been named Busta, Missy and Emmie (short for Eminem), in a nod to their parents’ rapper names.

Meerkat pups are born underground, safe from predators, after a two-and-a-half month pregnancy, and are initially blind, deaf and nearly bald.

For their first 10 days, their eyes and ears remain closed, but after they open the creatures explore their surroundings and gradually venture beyond the burrow’s confines at the three-week mark.

Carolyn Booth, Pets Farm Team Leader at the park near Stirling, said: “Our pups emerged from their den on August 11, so we estimate that they are just over a month old.

“We had been hearing some little squeaks from the burrow in the weeks prior, so we were hopeful that some pups were on the way.

“As the pups begin to explore their surroundings, we can see that they are growing more confident by the day.”

Meerkats are known for their strong social bonds.

A key milestone in their development happens between four and six weeks of age when they begin to experiment with solid foods, a vital step towards their eventual independence.

By 16 weeks the once-helpless pups will have transformed into self-sufficient individuals.

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox