Two dwarf mongoose pups take their first steps at Chester Zoo

Video: The two babies - the smallest of all the African carnivores - have taken their first steps

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The Independent Online

Chester Zoo have unveiled their latest adorable additions: two dwarf mongoose pups, the smallest of all African carnivores.

Since their birth in early September, the pair have spent the last month in their nest box and had not ventured out before. Keepers had only heard the occasional squeak.

The video below shows the pups enjoying their first moments outside of their box. Chester Zoo now has nine dwarf mongoose.

Team manager Dave White said, "Now that our new duo has started exploring they're going to keep mum, dad and the rest of the dwarf mongoose group very much on their tiny toes.

"Dwarf mongoose are highly sociable animals, living in groups where each mongoose has a job to do. When a litter of young is born then the whole group helps to care for them, with females other than their mum even producing milk for them."

The smallest of the mongoose species and the smallest African carnivore, an adult dwarf mongoose will only grow to about 30cm (12 inches).

The gender of the two new pups is not yet known by zoo keepers.