This Pygmy Slow Loris baby, a vulnerable primate species, has been born at Shepreth Wildlife Park, delighting keepers after the mom's long, 6 month pregnancy. The Pygmy Slow Loris was the first official EEP (European Endangered Species Program) that the Wildlife Park joined. The male and female, who were introduced back in November 2010 under the recommendation of the EEP co-ordinator, have been transferred from other European collections and matched for their genetic diversity.
There is thought to only be 70,000 animals left in the wild, so with just under 100 individuals in the European captive breeding program, this birth has been well received by the wildlife park and co-ordinator of the program. “We are delighted to have positively contributed. Breeding endangered species, and raising both awareness and funds about the different plights such species face in the wild, is the direction in which Shepreth Wildlife Park wants to continue.”
Photo Credit: Shepreth Wildlife Park
In the wild this nocturnal primate is found in the tropical dry forests of Vietnam, Laos, China and Cambodia. The Vietnam war nearly wiped out this species when forests were cut down or burnt. While military action has since stopped, unfortunately the destruction of forests for agricultural and development purposes continues today, alongside animals disappearing into the illegal pet-trade and medicinal market, where body parts are used in traditional medicines.