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It's Milo the mongoose.

Byline: Dave Robson Reporter dave.robson@trinitymirror.com

MEET Milo the mongoose - the newest arrival at Redcar's Kirkleatham Owl Centre.

The tiny six-week-old baby yellow mongoose was born to parents Mario and Mabeline, who live with the centre's group of meerkats.

Dad Mario was the first mongoose born at the centre back in 2012 and was hand-reared by the centre's volunteers after his mother was unable to care for him.

But despite his unusual upbringing, Mario has surprised centre staff by being the model father.

And now little Milo is starting to venture outside - with his protective parents by his side.

The centre's Craig Wesson said: "We have to admit, we're a little surprised at how good a dad Mario is. Being handreared, he didn't meet another mongoose until he was two, but after hitting it off with Mabeline, he's proving to be the perfect dad.

"Also, we weren't sure how Mario would react when Mabeline gave birth.

"His initial reaction to meeting new things is usually 'Can I eat it?' But he is proving to be very protective of little Milo."

Baby yellow mongooses stay with their family groups for up to two years and will help to rear their younger siblings.

Milo hasn't so far met the other enclosure residents - the meerkats - with mum and dad too protective to let him outside when they're around.

But over the next few weeks, it's hoped everyone will start to mix together.

The owl centre is now home to five yellow mongooses - Mario, Mabeline, Milo, and Monty and Mable - Milo's grandparents.

Little Milo will be making his debut this Easter, with the public having the chance to meet him during the centre's "meerkat feed and talk" 3pm sessions.

170316MGAMONGOOSE KATIE LUNN

CAPTION(S):

Baby Mongoose Milo, pictured with dad Mario, above left, at Kirkleatham Owl Centre

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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Mar 26, 2016
Words:305
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