5 meerkat pups born at Calgary Zoo
Pups birth follows dramatic rescue during height of flood
Five meerkat pups have been born at the Calgary Zoo following a dramatic rescue of the zoo's mob from their enclosure two weeks ago.
The pups were born June 28, one week after the flood.
When floodwaters swamped the zoo's African Savannah building, officials say the meerkats' burrows began collapsing and the five adults — Petunia, Penelope, Kruger, Kwando and Karoo — took refuge in a concrete log before being rescued.
They were moved to temporary quarters at the zoo's Animal Health Centre, where the pups were born.
Zoo officials waited several days before getting an accurate count on the litter because they did not want to disturb the mob so quickly after its rescue and relocation.
Officials say they believe Penelope is the mom but there's a chance some of the pups may belong to Petunia, who is also lending a hand.
It's difficult to be 100 per cent sure who is mom to who without a close examination, say zoo officials. In meerkat society, the entire group participates in the care of young pups.
The zoo's entire mob of meerkats lives as one big, happy family and the dominant male, Kruger, is believed to be the father of the pups.
Like kittens, meerkat pups are born with their eyes closed and are helpless for the first few weeks of life.