LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles Zoo Friday announced the birth of four meerkat pups, bringing the total to eight for the mob, or family, that arrived at the zoo in 2018.

Conceived during the zoo’s closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, the pups were born May 30 and spent the first two weeks of their lives tucked inside an underground burrow with their mother. Zoo staff have not yet announced the gender of the pups.

“It’s been fascinating to watch this mob of meerkats bond and create their social structure since their arrival a few years ago,” said Rose Legato, the senior animal keeper at the Los Angeles Zoo. “Meerkat mobs can be fierce, so to see how this group has successfully come together to raise these new pups has been really exciting.”

According to animal care staff, the pups recently emerged from below and had started to explore their habitat.

The animals, native to the deserts and grasslands of the southern tip of Africa, do well in temperate environments where they have plenty of sunshine and moderate temperatures — like L.A. Zoo officials said the pint-sized creatures have long been guest favorites.

While the zoo remains closed to the public, officials said they hoped to be able to reopen in July with guests able to see the meerkat mob on exhibit.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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