Three baby meerkats have joined the Taronga Western Plains Zoo family.
The male and two females were born on August 16 and recently emerged from hiding in their den to say ‘G’day’.
The trio will feel right at home at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, which is home to more than 500 animals and offers more than 300 hectares of wild bushland to explore in a safari experience.
The meerkat family at the Dubbo zoo has continued to grow. This litter of pups joins parents Midra and Howell’s first litter of five pups, born last November.
The three meerkats, yet to be named, are currently small enough to fit into the palm of your hand.
Taronga said it would keep providing social media updates on the meerkats, so animal-lovers can watch them grow to their maximum height of 29 centimetres.
Although the public is unable to visit the meerkat pups due to NSW’s ongoing lockdown, social media users celebrated the meerkats’ arrival.
ABC Western Plains Breakfast show host Nic Healey marvelled at the cute pups.
“Honestly, it’s pretty much exactly what I needed today,” he said,
Keeper Karen James said a visit to the meerkat babies once the zoo reopens was a ‘must’ – as they “don’t stay little for too long”.
“We are looking forward to watching the pups growth both in size and confidence as they start to explore their habitat more and more,” Ms James said.
The three meerkat pups aren’t the only new arrivals to Taronga.
The zoo announced on Sunday it had also welcomed twin baby bilbies.
The two males, Mallee and Cliff, were born in the Taronga Zoo breeding facility.
Now four months old, the twins were named in honour of the Mallee Cliff national park where bilbies were once extinct, but have since been successfully reintroduced.
Taronga zookeeper Paul said the bilbies were an exciting addition to the Taronga Conservation Society program.
“The really great news with these two joeys is that they will potentially either be part of our breeding program, or otherwise end up being part of our release program,” he said.
“The greater bilby was extinct here in NSW, but the Taronga Conservation Society has had a very successful breeding program where we were able to breed them up, put them into a sanctuary that we’ve put together with the idea that they’ll eventually be able to be released into the wild.”
The birth of the bilbies are the zoo’s second successful birth in 12 months.