A Japanese photographer is known on Twitter as mamekoro51 has the most adorable hobby you can imagine. He enjoys taking a large number of photographs of small baby animals of different species; the results are lovely.
During a visit to the Inokashira Natural Cultural Park in the city of Musashino in Tokyo, the photographer and faithful lover of animals came across a charming family of meerkats who had small newborns.
One of them captivated the photographer, as he seemed a bit shy in front of the camera lens.
THE PHOTOGRAPHER CAPTURES A SHY BABY MEERKAT AND ITS FAMILY
The lovely baby meerkat was peeking shyly behind a wall. The curious little animal seemed a little scared at first.
After a while, he felt somewhat calmer and came out of hiding like a mischievous young baby scout.
The meerkat is a skilled digger, which can create multiple entrances to spaces that it only leaves during the day. The meerkat colonies reach 40 individuals, their size ranges between 25 and 35 centimeters; the tail adds about 20 centimeters more. Its color is gray, tan or brown with silver streaks.
The fur of meerkats is densified on the back, which constitutes a thermoregulatory tool that helps it accumulate solar and daytime heat, one of its main characteristics. This “stored” heat is progressively released as temperatures drop.
This mischievous-looking little animal hails from the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, much of the Namib Desert in Namibia, and in southwestern Angola and South Africa.
These animals in captivity have an average lifespan of between 12 to 14 years, and approximately half of this time if they develop in the wild.
The older meerkats take care of the youngest of the group. Females who have not had their own offspring can lactate and feed the alpha pair’s offspring and also protect them from potential threats, even putting their own lives at risk.
Meerkats learn by imitation, they carefully observe the behavior of adults and then replicate their behavior. Of course, adults also participate by instructing them in some things.
An example might be when they teach their cubs how to eat a poisonous scorpion; the adult will remove the stinger and instruct the puppy on how to properly handle the creature.
But not everything is sweetness and peaceful, meerkats sometimes kill young members of their pack. Meerkats have been known to kill the offspring of older members in order to improve their own offspring’s position within the group.
This species reaches sexual maturity around two years of age and can have one to four babies in a litter, allowing the cubs to emerge from the burrow at two to three weeks old.
The Inokashira Park where these lovely pictures were taken is located in a renowned suburb of Tokyo. A great variety of Japanese species reside there, and they also promote the conservation and breeding of squirrels, mandarin ducks and Japanese swans.
The park also has a beautiful pond, a botanical garden and the Seibo Kitamura Museum, named after a Japanese sculptor.