Three baby meerkats were born at Fota Wildlife Park last month, the first of the species to be born at the County Cork park in 10 years.
The wildlife park has launched a competition to name the three new arrivals, who were born on September 19th.
Teresa Power, a senior ranger at the park, said staff were “delighted to see the babies out and about last month.”
Rangers didn’t know where the babies were male or female because they hadn’t been able to get a close look at them yet, she said.
“They are well guarded by the other members of the gang and will immediately flee underground and hide in one of the many tunnels they call home if they feel unsafe about anything,” she said.
“However, they are trained by our rangers to come out to feed when called and we plan to develop this further as they get older,” she said.
“They have become one of the highlights of our rangers’ day with their extremely amusing antics as they attempt to mimic the activities of more adult meerkats, such as digging and alarm calls,” Ms Power said.
The new meerkat’s mother, Biggy, was introduced to Fota Wildlife Park this year after previously being at a zoo in the Netherlands.
The babies’ father, a meerkat named Snaggle, was brought to Cork Park in 2021 from a small zoo in Ardmore, County Waterford. The last time meerkats were born in the park was March 2013.
Fota is asking the public for suggestions on naming the three babies at: www.fotawildlife.ie/news