Lonely Planet Writer

Meerkats, tortoises, gorillas and more in animal stories from around the world

This week, some happy meerkats and marmosets get an Easter treat, an 184-year-old tortoise gets his first bath, a baby gorilla and baby cheetahs are born after C-sections, and tourists seek out sea snakes, in animal stories from around the world.

Staff at Blair Drummond Safari Park put bug filled painted unfertilized Ostrich eggs in their Meerkats and Marmosets enclosures ahead of Easter. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 24, 2016. By filling up the eggs with mealworms and bugs this provided an enrichment which is incredibly important when working with animals in captivity, it gives them something to play with and encourages natural behaviour such as foraging for food.
Staff at Blair Drummond Safari Park put bug filled painted unfertilized Ostrich eggs in their meerkats and marmosets enclosures ahead of Easter. Image by Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Staff at Blair Drummond Safari Park put bug filled painted unfertilized Ostrich eggs in their meerkats and marmosets enclosures ahead of Easter. By filling up the eggs with mealworms and bugs this provided an enrichment which is incredibly important when working with animals in captivity, it gives them something to play with and encourages natural behaviour such as foraging for food.

Jonathan the tortoise gets a bath.
Jonathan the tortoise gets a bath. Image by St Helena Government YouTube

A 184-year-old giant tortoise took a bath this week on the island of St. Helena. The giant tortoise, named Jonathan, was given a wash in order to keep him looking his best for tourists. The tortoise is the oldest known living land animal on Earth and was called by the St. Helena Government a “creakingly old national treasure”. A veterinarian named Dr. Joe Hollins learned how to clean the tortoise using non-abrasive materials.

Read the full story here.

The snakes have been known to attack people
The snakes have been known to attack people. Image by Smithsonian

Some travellers are heading around the world in search of a very unusual travel experience – the most venomous snakes on earth. An academic has put together a database so people can travel in search of the famous sea krait. The snakes are more deadly than cobras, but generally do not bite humans. Travellers must head underwater in order to see the creatures.

Read the full story here.

gorilla
The as yet unnamed baby gorilla born by emergency caesarean who is being cared for by keepers as her mother is still too ill to look after her. Image by A. Pattenden/Bristol Zoo/PA Wire

A tiny gorilla – born by emergency C-section – is currently being cared for by keepers at the Bristol Zoo while her mother remains ill. The Western lowland gorilla was born after a very rare C-section as her mother was diagnosed with life-threatening pre-eclampsia. The animal is being hand-reared by staff at the zoo, which is inviting the public to help choose a name for the baby.

Read the full story here.

Five orphaned cheetahs have a new companion at the Cincinnati Zoo.
Five orphaned cheetahs have a new companion at the Cincinnati Zoo. Image by Cincinnati Zoo

Five orphaned cheetah cubs lost their mother but gained a new friend in a companion dog named Blakely. The cubs were born at the Cincinnati Zoo in the US on 8 March after a C-section, but their mother died. The staff brought in an Australian shepherd named Blakely, who is the zoo’s resident nursery companion who serves as a nanny for the tiny animals.

Read the full story here.