Spence the meerkat joins the mob

A new male has joined the mob down in Desert Springs with the arrival of eight-year-old Spence from Colchester Zoo.

The decision to welcome Spence came after the loss of the dominant male and female last year down in Desert Springs, to get the mob breeding again. The new addition has now been at the Park for three months and keepers have been slowly using this time to introduce him to other members of the group to help maintain the correct heirarchy needed for successful breeding.

It is important to have a dominant male and female who are not genetically related as it is these two who will reproduce while the restof the group will help look after the young and form a special bond.

Spence The Meerkat Joins The Mob

Over the last three months, keepers have been working hard to introduce Spence to the mob, especially Sue, the meerkats’ dominant female. Visitors can now see Spence roaming about in Desert Springs within Animal Encounters.

Charlie Simpson, Animal Keeper, said: “Spence is very confident and dominant. He loves to follow keepers around and he is a big fan of cardboard boxes and definitely doesn’t like sharing the food we put inside as part of his enrichment.

"It’s hoped in the future that Spence will help bring lots of adorable young to the Park”.