Thursday, September 25, 2014

Meerkat Adventures
Our new babies

These little ones was born on the 29 August 2014, we are not sure how many was born. But these two are the lucky ones and the survivors

With every birth , 3 times per year gives you 6 babies per litter. 18 babies born per season, only 40 - 45 % survival rate up to 4 weeks old. Due to snakes or other mongoose species.. Most of the predation happens on the babies under 4 weeks old.

We got to see these 2 the first time on the 23 Sept 2014. The babies stay under ground for the first 3.5 - 4 weeks of their lives.

After the birth, mom scent marks each baby to make them recognisable to the family. "Looks like food, but spells like MOM "
She then leaves them behind with one or two babysitters that will take care of them.
And when they finally do come out of the burrows the first time, for the next week they stay at the same burrow for the next week, to develop their motorised skills. And then it is off to Meerkat school or collage for them for the next 4 months of their lives. Now they need to be taught every thing. Like: how to find food, were and how to sort out the venom or chemical defence on the food. Babysitting with the next litter, housekeeping, and security. They can now still hug and hold any member in the family with out permission, beg for food. But after graduating from Meerkat school or collage at the age of 5 months old, It is no more tolerated. You are qualified and have to do things for and by yourself.

Any member in the family does babysitting and teaching of the babies. All duties is shared. But mating.