For the first time in its history, meerkats have been born and are being successfully raised at Zoo Miami, one of the biggest zoos in the US and the largest in Florida.
On Jan. 18, “Yam Yam,” an 8-year-old female who came to Zoo Miami from Busch Gardens in February 2012, gave birth to two pups in a secluded area of the meerkat habitat. am Yam shares the habitat with three unrelated brothers named “Gizmo,” “Joe,” and “Diego” that are 6 years old and arrived from the Brevard Zoo in June 2018. Any one of these brothers could be the father and only DNA tests would be able to verify which one.
Since their birth, Yam Yam and the brothers have worked cooperatively to care for the newborns which are born helpless and blind. Zoo staff had a hands-off approach to allow the group to properly bond with the infants and created barriers in front of the public side of the exhibit to minimize any disturbances that may cause excess stress on the new family and lead to abandonment of the babies.