June 15, 2008

Meerkats Focus on Starring Role in New Enclosure

Two meerkats pose for the camera yesterday in in their new enclosure at Tropical World in Leeds - in readiness to become stars on the internet.

The creatures at the Roundhay Park attraction have been getting used to life in a specially-built home - with everything they would expect in their natural desert habitat, before making their online debut.

And, all the action in the expansive toughened glass enclosure will be available for anyone to see - on the Leeds City Council website.

The project has involved a whole year of planning and consultation with veterinary experts and zoos.

The meerkats are now expected to take their time exploring and adapting to their new enclosure.

Underground burrows and an artificial termite mound have been constructed to mimic their natural habitats.

They will have a quiet area which will act not only as their sleeping quarters but also as a bolt hole when they are camera-shy or nervous.

Two cameras will let internet surfers and wildlife enthusiasts see real-time images very shortly - on the www.leeds.gov.uk site.

Picture: Simon Hulme

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