New born Meerkats - see the trio of new arrivals...
The pitter-patter of tiny feet is to be expected as spring approaches, and Tropical World in Leeds has some new arrivals with a difference in the form of three new-born meerkats.
The popular visitor attraction in Roundhay has seen its first success as part of a new breeding programme with three baby meerkats born to a female who was brought in to Tropical World from the Cotswold Wildlife Park.
First weeks of life - Meerkats.
The new arrivals are just four weeks old and have only this week started to be brought to the surface of the meerkat enclosure by their mother. The first three weeks of their lives have been spent completely underground in their burrows under her protection.
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Eating worms and grubs.
The babies are not yet old enough for their sexes to be determined but mature quickly as they reach adulthood in just 12 months. They spend the first six weeks of life totally dependent on their mother, but will then quickly acquire a taste for worms and grubs.
The adult members of the colony at Tropical World will act as babysitters and teachers showing the newcomers how to forage and find food, while visitors will also see the new trio playfighting as they learn together and grow stronger.
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The trio are the first meerkats to be born at Tropical World in over 10 years, and with the gestation period for a meerkat being short at 75 days, the animal keepers are hopeful of seeing this success repeated with more new arrivals later in the year.
Crocodiles and a Python!
The baby meerkats are just the latest in an exciting group of new arrivals to Tropical World in recent months. In November a rare albino Burmese Python which measures approximately 11 feet long and a Yellow Anaconda which is almost five feet long arrived from Scotland.
This was followed a month later by the arrival of three young Morelet’s Crocodiles which have proved hugely popular with visitors of all ages as for the first time ever a Leeds visitor attraction is now home to three resident crocodiles.