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Meerkat mayhem welcomed at Taronga zoo

AAP logoAAP 13/12/2016 Harveen Kaur

A meerkat mother has her paws full after delivering the largest litter of pups at Tarango Zoo, adding even more playful cheekiness to the African-themed exhibit.

Mother Nairobi delivered six pups last month and they're now brave enough to start venturing outside their nest box to explore their new enclosure.

Zookeepers admit they were surprised by the size of the litter.

"We knew that Nairobi was bigger than she was during her previous pregnancies, but we definitely weren't expecting six pups! Meerkats usually give birth to three to four pups, so mum certainly has her paws full this time," zookeeper Courtney Mahony said in a statement on Tuesday.

For parents Nairobi and Maputo, this is the third litter to join their growing brood after welcoming male Lwazi and female Serati in January, followed by females Ntombi and Xolani in August.

Ms Mahony says Nairobi is relaxed and confident caring for the largest litter of pups in Taronga's history.

"She's an incredible mother and seems to be taking it all in her stride. She's so attentive to the pups and she's getting lots of babysitting help from dad and her eldest daughter, Serati," she said.

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