Another litter of meerkat pups has been born at the Chattanooga Zoo, marking the second successful meerkat birth through natural breeding, according to a news release from the Zoo.
The mother, two-year-old Flower, gave birth to two pups. This is the second litter for Flower, who gave birth to her first litter in February. Flower, her pups and the whole meerkat mob of seven are doing great, the release states.
The pups were born inside the meerkat habitat in the Deserts of the World building and will stay with Flower and the rest of the mob at this time.
The birth comes just over two weeks after the Zoo announced Flower's pregnancy. Her ultrasound had showed at least one pup, but meerkats typically give birth to two to four pups. The gestation period for meerkats is around ten weeks.
"The successful breeding within our mob this year speaks volumes for how our animal care team cares for our animals daily," Chattanooga Zoo CEO & President Dardenelle Long said in the release. "Flower's litters are a testament to how comfortable and secure our animals feel in their environments. Flower trusts her fellow mob members and our staff with her offspring."
Meerkats breed throughout the year, allowing for multiple litters to be born annually. Studies have shown that meerkats often conceive almost immediately after giving birth, which results in back-to-back litters, the release states.
The Zoo considers the success of the breeding program to be "an immensely important step" in its efforts to protect meerkats in the wild.
Guests are currently welcome to visit the meerkat pups and the rest of the mob at the Zoo, which has reopened to the public amid the coronavirus pandemic.