A BABY meerkat has vanished from Perth Zoo, one day before they planned to publicly celebrate its birth.
The one-month-old animal went missing after leaving its nest box, leaving zoo keepers fearing it has either been stolen or taken by a predator.
Perth Zoo staff were yet to determine the meerkat’s sex and it was yet to be named.
Staff were assigned to monitor the animal throughout the day and it was last seen 30 minutes before evening checks on Wednesday.
“During evening zoo keeper rounds, the meerkat infant was not present in the exhibit,” the zoo said.
“We had dedicated personnel monitoring the group throughout the day and it was sighted 30 minutes prior to evening checks.
“A thorough search of the exhibit and surrounds has thus far failed to find the meerkat.”
They’re now investigating whether the meerkat was stolen, but staff say it’s possible it fell prey to a bird.
“Meerkats require specialised diets and care,” the zoo said.
“If the youngster has been illegally taken, we appeal for its safe return.”
The meerkat’s mum Bamba was transferred to Perth from Victoria’s Werribee Open Range Zoo.
The father isn’t known but it’s believed to be a meerkat named ‘Runako’.
The baby was born on August 20.
Perth Zoo is part of the regional breeding program for meerkats, ensuring a future for the species in case numbers collapse in the wild.