PICTURES: Lancaster meerkats settle into park enclosure

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Nine male meerkats are getting comfortable with their new enclosure at Williamson Park in Lancaster.

Zoo keepers have been kept busy by the friendly yet cheeky bunch who arrived at their new home during Easter.

Beth Nortley and Ayesha Shin who look after the meerkats in Lancaster.

Beth Nortley and Ayesha Shin who look after the meerkats in Lancaster.

The meerkats, who are yet to be named, are fed three times a day by fresh fuit and vegetables but often get a special meal cooked for them, including mince meat and boiled eggs.

Beth Nortley, who manages the keepers at the park, said families and visitors have loved he new addition to the park which already houses the Butterfly House, mini beast cave and woodland garden.

Currently the Butterfly House gets approximately 200 people visiting on a daily basis and now the new meerkat attraction is set to increase that figure.

Ayesha Shin has been a keeper for ten months and loves looking after the meerkats, who are aged between three and four-years-old.

She said: “We have a very friendly group here, they are very inquisitive animals too. We need to remind visitors though that they are wild animals, they make look cuddly but they have a nasty bite!”

The meerkats were transported to the park via Leeds Tropical World as part of their conservation programme. Each has their own personality, and features, with one being the leader of the pack.

Park organisers will run a competition shortly for the public to get the chance to pick a name for all nine meerkats.

The enclosure is open to the public from 10am and admission is included in the cost of the Butterfly House, Mini Beast Cave and Animal Garden: adult £3.80, child £2.80, concessions £3.40, family ticket (two adults, two children) £12.

For more please see the Lancaster Guardian and Visitor newspaper.