A BABY meerkat is being nursed back to life by Scottish animal lovers after she was rejected by her mother.
Little Amira was born just over four weeks ago at the Fife Animal Park, near Cupar, and was one of four pups delivered.
Soon after her birth, however, keepers noticed that she was often being left to the side and was “the runt of the litter.”
Keeper Nicky Lindsay decided to take the neglected youngster away from the pack and hand rear her instead – giving her a better chance of survival.
The 29-year-old said: “She’s just over four weeks old now and is doing really well.
“She’s playing and running around but has some soft cuddly toys for snuggling into at nights so she doesn’t get lonely.”
Nicky explained: “I take her to work with me at the park every day and we have a little enclosure for her there but when I’m done she comes back home with me.
“She follows my three-year-old niece around the living room and will crawl up your arm if you take her in your hands. She’s really cute and playful.”
“This is the park’s first time raising a meerkat and it’s been really fun. But not at 4am obviously.”
Although she started off drinking her mother’s milk while still in the litter, keepers soon had to find an alternative.
Nicky explained: “Well after taking her away from her mother, we started her on puppy milk. But now we’ve moved on to powdered milk with a wee bit of mashed banana mixed in and she absolutely loves it! Just laps it up.”
She added: “Her brothers and sisters have already started showing interest in ticks and live bugs so I guess I’ll have to start dealing with that next unfortunately.”
The future is now bright for the furry youngster.
“When she’s old enough we will begin trying to find her a new pack by bringing in another male for her. So she will have a whole new family,” Nicky explained.
The park, near Cupar, runs an active breeding programme where they introduce new meerkats into their packs, mixing up the gene pool.