Baby meerkats wild about western town

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Being born in a miniature old Wild West town – perhaps this nameless baby meerkat should be called ‘Billy the Kid’.

But the tiny critter is no ‘lone ranger’ – being one of triplets recently born at the Parrot Zoo in Friskney.

“We built a western-style town for the meerkats which started off with just a saloon bar,” said zoo owner Steve Nichols. “But it now has a bank, jail, sheriff’s office, general stores, a church and graveyard complete with tombstones.

“It opened in September and we let them go in as an experiment at first but we could soon see they were hanging out and congregating around the church.”

And it was some time later inside this miniature church that a female meerkat gave birth to the triplets. Their parents were both rescued by the zoo.

The three lively babies are yet to be named – but staff at the zoo are inviting suggestions from visitors.

“Because they were born in the church we have had a lot of biblical names suggested,” said Steve.

This is the second time they have given birth at the Parrot Zoo and its meerkat enclosure is now one of the largest in the UK, measuring 120 ft by 40ft.

Steve added: “The meerkats are by far the most popular attraction – we’ve got more than 2,000 parrots, lemurs, reptiles and other mammals, but when people see the meerkats they just turn to jelly.”

The Parrot Zoo has the UK’s largest collection of parrots.

n For more details visit www.parrotzoo.com