A visitor has captured a newborn meerkat’s first moments of life with these exclusive images.
Andrew Daly had joined a Creature Feature talk and feed at the meerkat enclosure on June 25, just before 1pm, when he noticed the tiny mammal nestling on the rocks.
Andrew, from Countesthorpe, Leicestershire, was on his first visit to DZG with his wife Amelia and young daughter, Olivia.
Also in the party was birthday girl, sister-in-law Natasha, her partner Dan, neice Kiera, aged 12, and mum-in-law Renia, who had travelled from Oxford.
The group watched as meerkat mum, Millie, carried the baby out of the birthing burrow in her mouth and laid it in the sunshine.
Andrew’s shots show the pup has half-closed eyes – they usually open fully at around 10-14 days.
Gestation of meerkats (SURICATA SURICATTA) takes 77 days and pups weigh about 100gms at birth. They are weaned gradually and start to forage with the group, or mob, within a few weeks.
CAPTIONS: Newborn meerkat at DZG
IMAGES: ANDREW DALY