Yam Yam the 8-year-old meerkat is starting the new year as a new mom.
According to Zoo Miami, the meerkat, who came to the Florida zoo from Busch Gardens Tampa, gave birth to two babies on Jan 18. These cuties are the first ever meerkats born and raised at Zoo Miami.
Yam Yam shares her exhibit with three non-related males Gizmo, Joe, and Diego. Just one of these males is the father of the duo — and only DNA testing can reveal the biological dad. Instead of call in Maury for a paternity test, all of the meerkat men are raising the pups together.
The zoo’s staff is using a hands-off approach for the newborns first fews weeks of life, allowing all of the adult meerkats to cooperatively raise the pups, who were born blind and helpless, so the animals can bond with the babies.
Both of the pups recently opened their eyes and are becoming more comfortable with their habitat with each passing day. For right now, there are barriers around the public-facing side of the meerkats’ exhibit to minimize disturbances during this crucial bonding period. Once the babies, their mom and their three dads are all adjusted to the new living situation, the barriers will be removed.
The public can still get a look at the new arrivals by watching the meerkat webcam on the zoo’s website. Even with the barriers up, zoo guests can still get a glimpses of the baby meerkats as the continue to explore more of their exhibit.