23. September 2016:
Finally! First offspring with our Meerkats!
For a long time the keepers of the park had hoped and wondered whether this summer we would finally be lucky with the long-awaited offspring with our meerkats. Already in the spring, the three audience favourites of the park had tried, but unfortunately still without success. So there was much excitement, as female Roxane gained weight again over the summer and therefore another pregnancy was suspected.
On September 23rd there was a first indication that something might have happened: until them all three adult animals had appeared for afternoon feeding, but from this day on there was always at least one missing during the feeding. The guess was that one of the animals was commanded to “baby service” in order to warm and guard the initially completely helpless young animals.
It was on September 25th already, that happy visitors were able to get a first glimpse at a young animal, when the parents carried it over the grounds in a short round. So now it was clear: there actually was offspring! But would it do it? In the spring, a young animal, aged only a few days, had died and had been carried from the den by the parents. Would they be lucky this time?
Every day now the family life of the Meerkats was meticulously recorded: who was to be seen or not for how long, where were food remains brought to, where from baby sounds could eventually be heard? And who ever caught a glimpse at that or the little ones? In the first two weeks this was only possible with good luck, but on October 8th, it was more or less obvious that it was only one young animal who had already opened his eyes. Whether boy or girl was however still not to be recognized with certainty.
Since mid-October the small one can be observed with relative certainty in the outdoor area. Most of the time it is still carried by the big ones, but it can also crawl a bit by itself. And clearly shows its displeasure, when the parents drag it out of the warm den into the uncomfortable autumn weather, so that the little one gets a little bit fresh air, and at the same time gets used to being a meerkat in northern Germany …
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