El Paso Zoo is celebrating the first Pygmy Slow Lorises ever to be born at the zoo— healthy twins! The babies, born to zoo residents Steven Tyler and Kym Ly on April 26th, have not yet been named, but they have been identified as one female and one male. At birth, the male weighed in at twenty-five grams and the female weighed in at twenty-seven grams. For reference, twenty-five grams is equivalent to about 2 tablespoons of white sugar! The newborns were dwarfed by the stethescope as the zoo's vet listened to their hearts during their checkup.
Zoo staff worked with the mother, Kym Ly, using positive reinforcement training so that they could monitor her through the pregnancy. This kind of training uses cues and rewards to encourage the loris to engage in behaviors that make it easier for staff to care for her. Kym Ly learned many commands including how to hold steady for radiographs and exams and how to present her abdomen and mammary glands for checkups. This makes checkups easier and less stressful for the new mother. Staff are already helping the babies to learn how to climb on a branch to be weighed so that staff doesn’t have to touch them.
Learn more after the fold!