A one-month-old meerkat has gone missing from Perth Zoo shortly after it started venturing out of its nest box, leaving heartbroken zoo keepers fearing it has been taken by a predator or stolen.
Staff hadn’t yet got close enough to determine its sex and give it a name, and were planning to unveil the mob’s newest addition at a media event on Thursday.
The meerkitten had dedicated staff monitoring it throughout the day and it was last seen 30 minutes before evening checks.
Zoo staff are still investigating but say it may be possible the infant was preyed on by a predatory bird, but it could also have been stolen.
“Meerkats require specialised diets and care,” the zoo said.
“If the youngster has been illegally taken, we appeal for its safe return.”
The meerkitten’s mother, Bamba, was brought to Perth from Werribee Open Range Zoo in Victoria and it is suspected Perth Zoo-born male Runako may have been the father.