Safari park's adorable meerkat pups
Animal lovers can be enchanted by the patter of tiny feet as a top wildlife attraction's seriously cute latest arrivals go on display to visitors.
Five tiny meerkat pups have been exploring their enclosure at Knowsley Safari Park for the first time since being born just four weeks ago.
The adorable youngsters, which were smaller than an egg at birth, are Knowsley’s first meerkat pups in four years and arrived to rookie parents Harry and Luna on May 28.
The pups spent their first few weeks cradled in a cosy indoor home under heat lamps but with the weather improving are now emerging to explore their surroundings with the rest of the group.
Craig Scott, meerkat keeper at Knowsley Safari Park, said: “The pups are just four weeks old, but they are already demonstrating individual personalities.
“Meerkats are very social animals and they are exploring the new area, interacting with the rest of the mob and generally causing mischief in the group.
“They spend a lot of time together foraging for tasty bugs and grubs, so we are spending time scattering food and encouraging the pups to investigate their new surroundings.”
The parents take their names from the popular Harry Potter books due to the fact the male has a distinctive zigzag mark on his head.
Meerkats are native to southern Africa and live in the Kalahari Desert, perfectly adapted to their harsh climate which has lots of predators, little water and a limited food supply.
They have ears which can close in the event of a sandstorm and dark patches around their eyes which act rather like sunglasses in lessening the desert glare.