Motherless meerkat pup wouldn't have survived without father's love

Groucho has lost his status as top-ranking meerkat to care for his daughter.
Groucho has lost his status as top-ranking meerkat to care for his daughter. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Mighty Mite, the meerkat pup has faced a tough start in life.

And Groucho's found himself a lone parent.

Six weeks after Mighty Mite was born, her mother died. Her three siblings were stillborn.

A kiss for Dad: Nine-week-old Mighty Mite is Groucho's only surviving pup.
A kiss for Dad: Nine-week-old Mighty Mite is Groucho's only surviving pup. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Groucho stepped in to parent his off-spring, sacrificing his position as the top male of the group at the Kirkleatham Owl Centre near Redcar. Staff say this is highly unusual.

Meerkats are dependant on their mother up until eight, nine or ten weeks.

There is a lot of fighting over dominance and hierarchy.