AFTER a long, wet winter, spring has arrived at Cotswold Wildlife Park, bringing its new births.

The park’s popular meerkats have produced their first pup of 2014, weighing in at about 30g.

Its first few weeks were spent hidden from visitors in a burrow, but the youngster has emerged to explore the outdoor enclosure and play with its family.

Curator Jamie Craig said: “We have had great success with our meerkats over the years. They're such endearing creatures and are always a great hit with visitors.”

Meerkats have a social structure whereby newborns are looked after by the entire family for the first few months, each adult taking a share of nursery chores.

At six weeks, babies join the rest of the group and each is an apprentice to an adult, learning how to find and handle food.

Visitors can see the as-yet-unnamed newborn in the enclosure near the bactrian camels.