A rambunctious pair of dwarf mongooses have, had their first adventure into the big wide world at Chester Zoo. Born on the 8/9/2014 keepers have only just been able to get their first look at the pair.

While dwarf mongooses are already Africa’s smallest carnivorous mammal this pair is even smaller. Even adult mongooses measure just 30cm (12 in). Their small size doesn’t stop them from being incredibly cute as they wrestled and attempted to act just like the other mongooses.

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This adventure outside comes after a month of living in a nest box where keepers were only able to identify them due to the squeaks they made.

The team manager for the twilight section at Chester Zoo, Dave White said, “Now that our new duo has started exploring they’re going to keep mum, dad and the rest of the dwarf mongoose group very much on their tiny toes.”

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“They may be small but they’re a fascinating species and what they lack in size they certainly make up for in likability.”

The dwarf mongoose family at the zoo now has 9 members. “Dwarf mongoose are highly sociable animals, living in groups where each mongoose has a job to do. When a litter of young is born then the whole group helps to care for them, with females other than their mum even producing milk for them,” added White.

At the moment keepers are unsure of the pup’s gender due to their small size. Why not take a look at them in the video below and see if you can guess in the comments below.

With a unique social structure everyone in the group will have a roll in caring for the pups. The dominant female and her partner had the babies but all the other females will also be involved in caring for the pups. Some of them may even produce milk for the babies. Everyone in the mongoose group has a role including the all-important sentry who keeps an eye out for danger.

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Photo Credit: Chester Zoo

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