Zoo greets four new meerkats
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.
Perth Zoo has high hopes for its new baby meerkat.