May 30, 2019 / 10:08 AM / 3 months ago

Four new baby meerkats melt hearts at a Thai zoo

Newly-born meerkats are seen with their mother at the zoo in Songkhla in southern Thailand May 29, 2019. REUTERS/Jiraporn Kuhakan

SONGKHLA, Thailand (Reuters) - Four newly born meerkats are the star attractions at a zoo in Thailand as visitors come to catch a glimpse of the little furry pups with their big eyes and signature two-legged stand.

The babies were born to second-time parents, boosting to 13 the population of meerkats at the zoo in the town of Songkhla, the biggest public zoo in southern Thailand.

“These baby meerkats were born three to four week ago. In the first week they were kept inside the burrow then they were brought out in the second week, once they are out the whole pack helps look after them and they attract a lot of attention from tourists,” said zoo keeper Suriya Kayurin.

Meerkats are a member of the mongoose family of animals, and are native to southern Africa, where they live in large groups in burrows in savanna and dry grasslands.

The babies have drawn in lots of visitors to see them with their pack in a specially built enclosure that helps the animals adjust to the steamy tropical conditions of Thailand.

“I heard about the newly born meerkats. I’ve only seen them on television so I wanted to bring the children to see how cute they are in real life,” visitor Leelawadee Tubtimdee told Reuters.

Additional report by Panarat Thepgumpanat; Writing by Panu Wongcha-um

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