Fab five! Dwarf mongoose pups emerge from their den
Five tiny dwarf mongoose pups born at the zoo have emerged from their den for the first time.
The tiny youngsters, each similar in size to a Kit Kat Chunky, were spotted following in the footsteps of mum as they took their maiden steps into the outside world.
The quintet is the first litter for parents Mini and Cooper since the pair arrived at the zoo in late 2016.
Keepers were first alerted to the new arrivals several weeks ago when they heard “little squeaks” coming from their nest box.
However, only now have the pups opened their eyes and developed the confidence to venture out.
Nick Davis, Deputy Curator of Mammals, said:
Dwarf mongooses are curious characters and are incredibly adventurous and playful. The babies are certainly keeping mum and dad on their toes.
Native to sub-Saharan Africa, the dwarf mongoose is the smallest of all carnivores on the continent, with adults growing to just 30cm (12 inches) in length.
Given the tiny size of the latest arrivals, it’s too early for our keepers to be able to confirm the genders of each of the pups and thus, give them names.
Dwarf mongoose facts
The plural of mongoose is mongooses!
Dwarf mongooses are found in many parts of Africa, living in woodlands, grasslands and rocky outcrops
They mainly feed on locusts, beetles, spiders, termites, grubs and mealworms, smaller mammals like mice, small birds, lizards and snakes
They are Africa’s smallest carnivore, as well as the smallest of the mongoose species
Adult dwarf mongooses only grow to about 30cm (12 inches) in length
Dwarf mongooses are related to meerkats
They make short chirrup sounds to communicate with each other
The new youngsters were born on 09/07/2017
Keepers do not yet know the pups’ gender and so they’ve not yet been named
Mum is four years old (born 10/09/2012)
Dad is two years old (born 23/11/2016)