Spooky fun for meerkat trio

Natureland Seal Sanctuary's meerkats have been enjoying some Halloween-themed goodies this week.
Natureland Seal Sanctuary's meerkats have been enjoying some Halloween-themed goodies this week.

The meerkats at Natureland Seal Sanctuary were getting into the spooky spirit of things this week after staff at the site gave them carved pumpkins to play with for Halloween.

Monty, Mylo and Misha have enjoyed exploring the unusual toys - which are in fact a clever way of keeping the inquisitive mammals stimulated.

The pumpkins have been stuffed with food, and Monty, Mylo and Misha then have to work their way into it.

“The meekats are always so inquisitive and so it’s important to keep them stimulated, and we’re always doing different things to do that, “said Natureland’s Duncan Yeadon.

“Often we’ll put food in boxes for them to figure out, but we thought we’d put a Halloween spin on it.

“When you put anything like that in their enclosure it really stirs their imaginations.

“We put some food in them and they were all over the pumpkins, exploring them.

“The pumpkins will return on Halloween itself, so the public will be abe to see them enjoying their toys.”

Elsewhere, the sanctuary hopes to hear the patter of tiny feet in the near future after one of its Caiman crocodiles laid some eggs.

The sanctuary has had Caimans on the site for four years - after 30 of the animals were impounded at Heathrow Airport when someone tried to bring them into the country illegally. Four of the animals were given to the Skegness site to look after - and they’ve grown to around three feet in length since then. They’ve now laid eggs for the first time, and staff are really excited.

Duncan said: “This is a bit of a first for us, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed.”

And, of course, work with the resident seals continues.

The seal pup rescued just two weeks ago continues to make good progress and has now been given a name.

The sanctuary has decided to name him after Olympic cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy.

The sanctuary chooses a theme every year when naming its seals. And this year it has been naming all rescued seals after Olympic athletes in recognition of the 2012 games.

Chris the seal was rescued in mid-October at Chapel Point. The three-month-old pup was suffering from lung worm, but has responded well to treatment.

After a stay in the sanctuary’s ‘hospital’ he has now been moved to the outdoor pool.

Natureland’s Duncan Yeadon said: “He’s had worming injections and he’s feeling a lot better. He was quite a good weight when he came in. A lot of the pups we rescue are really, really skinny, but in three or four weeks hopefully he’ll be going back into the wild, so it will be quite a quick recovery.”