A TEAM from St Andrews Aquarium in Fife have been working around the clock this week to feed and care for a baby meerkat which has been rejected by its mother.
The little meerkat, whom the Aquarium team has nicknamed, ‘Oliver Twist’, after Dickens’ most famous orphan, was born in St Andrews Aquarium on 19th January 2012.
Only just weeks old and still small enough to hold in the palm of a hand, Oliver Twist is not yet in a position to feed and care for himself, so the dedicated team have set up a 24/7 care package to ensure he gets the much needed nutrition and care he requires to survive and grow.
Andrew Whiston, displays manager at St Andrews Aquarium, commented: “Maternal rejection in the animal kingdom is largely unexplained but, for whatever reason, poor Oliver Twist has been left out in the ‘proverbial cold’ by his mother when he is just only days old.
“While we ordinarily don’t like to interfere with nature’s course, we certainly weren’t prepared to see any harm come to this little man which means, in very simple terms, that we have stepped in to feed and nurse Oliver until he matures.
“Between us we’ve set up a care rota which ensures he is fed every two hours, day and night, and we’re working to keep him warm and safe.
“Our team is literally working around the clock to care for this little fella and, once he’s bigger and stronger, we hope to be able to re-introduce him back into the pack as a mature meerkat.”
Oliver Twist is one of 12 meerkats now resident in the Aquarium and will hopefully join his brothers and sisters later this year, which include Julian, Dicky, Anna, George and Timmy (The Famous Five) and Frank, Goldie and Myrrh.
For more information on St Andrews Aquarium please visit www.standrewsaquarium.co.uk.
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