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Page last updated at 11:32 GMT, Monday, 14 September 2009 12:32 UK
Baby meerkats born in Bristol
Meerkats at Bristol Zoo Gardens
Meerkats are only found in Southern Africa, in places like Namibia and Botswana

Four tiny baby meerkats have been born at Bristol Zoo Gardens and they are already proving a hit with visitors.

The youngsters, now a month old, have just started to venture out of their heated hutch to play and have been making the most of the sunny weather.

Keepers have been keeping a close eye on the tiny quadruplets, which weighed around just 30g (0.1lbs) at birth.

The meerkats have a varied diet, including crickets, locusts, mealworms, fruit, vegetables, eggs and mice.

We should know if they are males or females in another month or two
Matt Webb

Bristol Zoo's overseer of small mammals, Matt Webb, said: "The babies were tiny when they were born, with very little fur and eyes tightly closed.

"They are still too small to sex but we should know if they are males or females in another month or two.

"They are still feeding from the adult females, but have recently started eating solid food and will become fully weaned in the next few weeks."

Meerkats live in groups of 10 to 20, called mobs or gangs.

The group work together, with each member taking on special duties such as looking for food, acting as a 'lookout' or minding the youngsters.

They all work together to defend their territory and raise the young - all four adult meerkats at Bristol Zoo have been sharing in the babysitting of the youngsters.

Meerkats are carnivores and in the wild they prefer to eat small birds and reptiles, but more often they survive on plants and invertebrates.

In the wild meerkats will even eat snakes and scorpions.

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