WIS gets a close-up look at baby flamingos, meerkats at Riverbanks Zoo

Published: Nov. 9, 2023 at 7:57 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - If you need a break with the kids, Riverbanks Zoo has some new animal children of its own to show off.

Fun facts about the flamingos from Nikki Hartman, Supervisor of Bird Department:

This year 3 flamingos hatched (3 months old right now) Gray in color right now but moving to pink

  • Pink fades in over-time after 3 months until they’re about a year old
  • Flamingos can be very protective of nests and eggs
  • Parent flamingos turn white because they regurgitate nutrition including pigment to their chicks (basically giving chicks nutrition and color)
  • Parents get their color back
  • They “honk” to call back and forth to each other
  • American Flamingos can live up to 60 years or longer

Fun facts about meerkats from India Kozel, Gorilla Small Mammal Keeper

  • Four baby meerkats - unnamed right now
  • 6 to 8 weeks old
  • Came out above ground “fast” - following dad
  • Pups will be the parents’ “shadow” until they’re ready to go out on their own
  • Part of mongoose family, can be found in southern Africa
  • Despite their cute appearance, they have “extremely sharp” teeth- so no hand feeding
  • Love to dig tunnels

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