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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 May, 2004, 14:54 GMT 15:54 UK
Feisty meerkats meet their public
Meerkats are native to southern Africa
The largest litter of meerkats to be born in Scotland have made their public debut at Edinburgh Zoo.

Head keeper Darren McGarry said he was delighted that the six "feisty" animals - who were just 5cm long when they were born last month - had all survived.

"Our only problem now is finding names for them all," he said.

The fifth litter for parents Azaria and Adam brings the number of meerkats at the zoo to 13. Visitors are being asked to come up with suitable names.

Names must start with the letter E and are traditionally expected to be biblical.

The litter is the fifth for parents Adam and Azaria
The meerkats have survived despite constant threats from predators like seagulls and foxes.

They work in teams and alert each other to any unwelcome guests.

Mr McGarry, said: "The usual litter size is between two and five, so we are delighted that six have been born, and all survived.

"They are really strong, feisty little creatures and the rest of the group works so well to look after them."

A member of the mongoose family, the meerkat is native to southern Africa and they usually live in groups of between three and 30.

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