Three meerkat pups have made their first appearances at Chester Zoo .

The trio, born on January 28, have been kept out of sight by their mum and the rest of the meerkat mob until they were ready to emerge from their underground burrow.

But now, at nine-weeks-old, the tiny youngsters have been spotted stepping out and about.

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For the time being, it is unclear whether the pups are male or female. However, the three pups are scheduled to undergo their first health check-up early next month when all will be revealed.

Meerkats, which are native to Angola, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, live in underground burrows in large groups of around 30 individuals called a gang or a mob.

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They have scent pouches below their tails and rub these pouches on rocks and plants to mark their territory. They also have four toes on each foot and extremely long, non retractable claws to help them dig.