How to make yourself at home - Simples!
AN abandoned meerkat pup is rapidly becoming one of the family for Exmoor Zoo owners Lynn and Danny Reynolds. Simples wasn t expected to survive after she and her siblings were thrown out of their nest box by their mother and left to die in the February s
AN abandoned meerkat pup is rapidly becoming one of the family for Exmoor Zoo owners Lynn and Danny Reynolds.
Simples wasn't expected to survive after she and her siblings were thrown out of their nest box by their mother and left to die in the February snows.
Rescued by zoo staff, the two-inch long pup appeared to have little chance, but Lynn has fostered all manner of young animals from penguins to wallabies and set to hand rearing the meerkat with an exhausting schedule of two-hour feeds.
Thankfully Simples thrived and now at 12 weeks old follows her "mum" everywhere, even joining Lynn and the family dogs on their daily walks.
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The meerkat pup has joined a family menagerie which also includes two skunks!
Lynn explained how the meerkat mother had abandoned her brood because only dominant females were allowed to give birth by the group.
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"We really didn't think Simples was going to make it," Lynn admitted.
"She was on SMA baby milk, mixed with Carnation milk, every two hours for the first week, then we went up to three-hour night time feeds and now she is feeding herself.
"Because meerkats are social animals she does need a lot of time spent with her, although she won't be able to go back with the others because they would kill her. When she is older we will find a mate for her and then they can start their own colony."
Visitors to the zoo near Bratton Fleming will soon get to meet Simples as she begins to earn her keep by taking part in the daily animal talks every afternoon.