Zoo greets four new meerkats

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - South Perth Local Government Reform -

IF the daugh­ter of Tilly, Perth Zoo’s breed­ing meerkat, is any­thing like her five-year-old mum, she’ll be an ex­cel­lent contributor to the African mam­mal’s Aus­tralasian cap­tive pop­u­la­tion.

Three boys and just one girl make up Tilly’s fourth lit­ter, adding to her tally of 16 kits since she be­gan breed­ing about four years ago. Many have been sent off to zoos around the world, in­clud­ing Taronga and Halls Gap in Vic­to­ria and Newquay Zoo in Corn­wall, UK.

At the eight-week-old kits’ first health-check last Tues­day, Perth Zoo vet Katja Geschke de­ter­mined their sexes, vac­ci­nated them against common cat and dog viruses, in­clud­ing par­vovirus, and weighed them, with each bang on tar­get at about 350g.

Tilly is the only adult breed­ing fe­male among Perth Zoo’s pop­u­la­tion of five adults, with the kits’ dad and un­cles help­ing to keep them en­ter­tained and safe.

Meerkats sur­vive for about seven years in the wild but can live to 14 in cap­tiv­ity.

Pic­ture: Bruce Hunt

Perth Zoo has high hopes for its new baby meerkat.

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