The entire world fell in love with the adorable baby meerkat in a Tokyo zoo when photos of the shy pup circulated over the internet. But now you don’t have to go to Japan just to see baby meerkats in person. Zoo Miami, the largest zoo in Florida, is now a home to two cute baby meerkats. Despite being the oldest zoo in Florida, this is actually the first time that the zoological park has had meerkats born within its walls.
Back in February 2012, a female meerkat named Yam Yam was transferred from Busch Gardens to Zoo Miami. In June 2018, Yam Yam finally had company when the zoo took in 3 male meerkats from the Brevard Zoo. Altogether, the 4 meerkats live in a single enclosure where they live as one family. And on the 18th of January this year, Yam Yam gave birth to two lovely baby meerkats. One of the three male meerkats could be the father and only DNA tests could verify which one is the biological father.
Amazingly, Yam Yam and the other three male meerkats are working cooperatively to raise the newborn pups. Just like any other newborn animals, baby meerkats solely rely on their parents because they are born blind and helpless.
Meerkats have a reputation of being a good guardian to their young. In the wild, meerkats live in groups where every member has specific role to perform. Some of the basic tasks include hunting for food, digging tunnels for home, taking care of infants, and serving as lookouts to guard their tunnel homes. But they don’t just stick to one role. They typically go on rotation so everyone gets to experience all these tasks.
Their natural instinct of taking care of their pups can be passed on even to those that are not living in the wild. Meerkats living in the zoo, for example, are deprived to exercise their instincts. They won’t need to forage for food because the staff feeds them. They can’t dig their own tunnels either because they are provided with a comfortable home to begin with. But all these things don’t completely eradicate their innate behaviors. And their wild instincts still manifest from time to time.
In captivity, meerkats can live up to 14 years and they could grow really fast. So if you want to see these baby meerkats in all their cuteness, you need to see them now while they’re still young. According to the zoo, the newborn pup have recently opened their eyes and are starting to explore around the den.
Here’s what people have to say about these adorable baby meerkats