It’s been a great week for baby animals in the state of California: three newborn pups have joined a group of meerkats at the Oakland Zoo, while Sacramento welcomed a healthy Sumatran Tiger cub. We’ll let you decide which one is cuter.
The meerkat pups, named Ayo, Rufaro and Nandi, are now approaching six weeks old and are the first successful litter in over a year, say zoo officials. Meerkat pups are particularly susceptible to being killed by others in their mob. (Just as a group of lions is called a pride, a group of meerkats is called a mob). However, zoo officials are excited about how the new arrivals have been welcomed.
“It has been wonderful watching the mob raise the pups,” said Zoological Manager Victor Alm in a press release. “It has truly been a collective effort and all the adults are taking their turns caring for and teaching the new pups their different roles and jobs needed to be a productive meerkat.”
Meerkats are carnivores that can grow up to be two pounds as adults on a diet of insects (including scorpions), small reptiles and even small mammals. In the video above, watch for the dark fur patch on the meerkats’ bellies — they act as solar panels that warm them up prior to activity or going to sleep.
Sumatran Tigers are indigenous only to the Indonesian island of Sumatra off the Malaysian Peninsula. Fewer than 500 Sumatran Tigers are believed to exist in the wild and approximately 200 live in zoos around the world.