A tiny meerkat born the size of a human THUMB and rejected by its mother has been nursed back to health – in a margarine tub.
The tiny creature weighed just 18 grams and was kicked out of the family nest by her mum because she was the runt of the litter.
She was found freezing and near death by her keepers at Exmoor Zoo in Devon, who immediately built her a new home in a large margarine pot.
Staff spent six weeks hand-rearing the meerkat – named Simples – who is now 13 times bigger than when she was found.
She was born on February 15 but was later found shivering on the fringes of the meerkat enclosure.
Keeper Lynn Reynolds said: ”She was very, very tiny when I first found her. She weighed only 18 grammes and was the size of my thumb.
”She was very cold because at the time there was a cold snap and there was lots of snow and ice around.
”At first I thought she was dead, but luckily we got to her just in time and she is now recovering in a warm room at the zoo.”
Simples was nursed back to health on a diet of milk and now weighs a healthy 238 grammes.