Three tiny dwarf mongoose pups have emerged from their burrows for the very first time!
The miniature babies, each currently measuring around just 12cm-long, were spotted by our keepers exploring the outside world, with their protective parents Hope and Cooper sticking close by.
“Little squeaks” were heard inside the mongoose burrows several weeks ago but only now has the trio developed the confidence to frequently venture out.
The latest arrivals join a mob of seven at the zoo, which has been home to dwarf mongoose for more than 45 years.
Dwarf mongooses are really sociable animals and so the whole group play a part in helping to look after the new triplets.
As well as mum, some of the other with females even start producing milk for them to ensure they’re well fed. They work together in teams to care for the youngsters, often deploying a look out to alert the group to any danger while the babies are feeding.
The pups are already playful but will soon build in confidence and, with dwarf mongooses being very curious and adventurous by nature, will certainly keep the group on their tiny toes.
The dwarf mongoose is the smallest of all the carnivores found in Africa and only grow to around 30cm. Given the size of the pups, they’re a little too small to sex at the moment, but we should know if they’re male or female in the next few weeks.”
Dave White, Team Manager