RAW: Meerkats debut at LA Zoo

Posted at 5:51 AM, Mar 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-16 05:51:42-04

LOS ANGELES (KCAL/KCBS/CNN) – The Los Angeles Zoo has a new mob of meerkats. And with that group, they’re hoping to make even more meerkats.

The zoo had some vacancies after some of its elderly meerkats passed away.

So, they worked to put together what’s called a breeding group.

The zoo is now home to three females from Kansas and four males from Quebec. They’ve been getting to know each other and digging new holes and tunnels.

Zookeepers are hopeful there will be some meerkat pups on the horizon.

But for now, they say the group is getting along well and appearing to form new bonds.

They’re also working as a group to watch for predators in the air and on the ground.

"It's a really cool thing that, for being such small animals, they actually are able to really – as a group – pack a punch,” said Samantha Derman, a zoo animal keeper. “And it's kind of, you know, safety in numbers-type of mentality. So, yeah, they're very fearless. They will go toward something and chase it away because it's important for the safety of the family."

Meerkats are native to the southern tip of Africa, but they do well in environments where temperatures aren’t extreme and there is plenty of sunshine.

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