'X-traordinary': Meerkats Trained to 'Voluntarily' Sit for X-Rays at Australian Zoo
A zoo in Victoria, Australia, said its meerkats are proving “why they’re one of the most adored species in the animal kingdom,” after being trained to sit “voluntarily” for X-rays without the need for anesthetic.
Footage shared by Werribee Open Range Zoo in Victoria shows the animals stepping up to be scanned by a custom-designed machine and being rewarded with a treat.
“Five meerkats are demonstrating their intelligence by voluntarily stepping up to an X-ray plate as part of a proactive health-care program,” the zoo said in a statement, adding it proves “there’s more to the inquisitive creatures than what meets the eye” as the mob achieves "some really X-traordinary things.
“All of the scans are being taken within the meerkats’ habitat, which means the meerkats don’t need to leave the comfort of their own home,” keeper Eliza Baker said.
The zoo said the health-care training “allows the animals to voluntarily participate in their own medical check-ups, which significantly reduces any stress.” Credit: Werribee Open Range Zoo via Storyful