Tiny Primate Has a Really Tiny Baby at Columbus Zoo

A very tiny primate at the Columbus Zoo had a very tiny baby on June 9!  Pygmy Slow Lorises weigh only one pound as adults, and their babies weigh only a few ounces but are born fully-developed and with eyes wide open.

11428237_10152971562502106_5357639955651629422_oPhoto Credit:  Columbus Zoo

First-time parents Gouda and Muenster were paired through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan.  The baby’s gender is not yet known, but it is already climbing with mom Gouda in the zoo’s nocturnal house. 

These little Lorises are not monkeys, but belong to a group of primates called prosimians.  Prosimians include Lemurs, Lorises, Aye-ayes, and Tarsiers.  Slow Lorises produce a toxin from scent glands on their elbows.  When alarmed, they lick the scent glands so the toxin becomes mixed with their saliva, rendering bite from these animals dangerous.

During the day, Pygmy Slow Lorises sleep curled up in the treetops. At night, they emerge to forage for leaves, fruits, and insects.

Pygmy Slow Lorises are native to southeast Asia, including Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Their habitat was devastated during the Vietnam War, and they are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.  

Pygmy Slow Loris Baby Is in Good Hands at Paignton Zoo

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Dedicated keepers at Paignton Zoo in England are caring for a rare baby that weighed little more than a CD at birth.

The Pygmy Slow Loris – which weighed just 22 grams when it was born - was one of twins born to a first-time mother. One twin did not survive, and keepers stepped in to save the other when its mother abandoned it.

For the first night Head Mammal Keeper Craig Gilchrist slept in an office at the zoo, feeding the tiny youngster every couple of hours. It was given a milk replacer using a 1 milliliter syringe and a small rubber teat.

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4 slow lorisPhoto credit: Paignton Zoo

Seven mammal keepers now take turns feeding the tiny baby day and night. One takes the incubator home each evening. The baby needs more frequent feeds overnight as Slow Lorises are nocturnal and eat more at night.

Now, at around a month old, it has gone from 22 grams - less than a single AA battery - to over 30 grams – the weight of a dessert spoon. 

Keeper Lewis Rowden said, “You have to take care not to squirt the milk into the lungs – you have to let the baby suckle at its own rate. We are just moving on to feeding some solids now – small amounts of mashed boiled sweet potato.”

See and read more after the fold.

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Tiny Slow Loris Twins Are a First for El Paso Zoo

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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. 

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Photo credits: El Paso Zoo

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!

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Little Loris Twins Born a Duke Lemur Center

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On April 9 the Duke Lemur Center welcomed two new Pygmy Slow Loris twins to mother Loris, Sovanni. The Duke Lemur is the foremost prosimian research and advocacy center and sanctuary. Prosimians are primitive primates that include lemurs, lorises, bushbabies and tarsiers. 

The vulnerable Pygmy Slow Loris is a nocturnal tree dweller that lives up to its name, moving in slow-motion while hunting prey. While they may look cute and cuddly (thermo-nuclearly cute if you ask us) this animal has a toxic bite, a very rare trait amongst mammals. Widespread poaching for the pet trade and use in traditional medicines sold in China has put a tremendous strain on the species in its native home of Southeast Asia. 


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17001_2DH9720ED_np2933 7089 7090Photo credits: Duke Lemur Center / David Haring

Many more exceptional photos after the jump

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Rare Pygmy Slow Loris Twins in Galveston, Texas


Moody Gardens guests get a special treat this summer: the chance to see two rare Pygmy Slow Loris offspring, born June 13, on exhibit in the Rainforests of the World Exhibit.

The addition of the second set of twins is a rare and valuable boost to the population of this primitive primate species called prosimians that are found in tropical forests of Laos, Vietnam, China and Cambodia. These arboreal (tree-living) primates were nearly extinct in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Much of the forests where the loris lived were destroyed. After the Vietnam War, deforestation continued to be a threat. Due to numerous environmental dangers, the species is listed as “vulnerable” by United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre.


Photo credits: Moody Gardens

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Softly-Softly into the World...

Quiet, slow and shy, Pottos spend their days sleeping in nooks high up in the trees and nights hunting for tasty fruits, tree sap and the occasional sleepy bug. Only three North American zoos exhibit Pottos and only the Cincinnati Zoo has successfully bred this rarely seen primitive primate. In some parts of Africa, the Potto is called a "Softly-Softly," however when the diminutive Potto is threatened, they will jab at enemies with pointy vertebrae on the back of their necks. Distantly related to apes and humans, they are more closely related to other lorises. These photos come to us courtesy of and copyright by the Cincinnati Enquirer

Baby Potto Cincinnati Zoo hanging from a branch

Baby Potto Cincinnati Zoo hanging from a branch

Baby Potto Cincinnati Zoo hanging from a branch
Photo credits: The Enquirer / Ernest Coleman

Rare Pygmy Loris Twins Born at Moody Gardens

Moving slowly through the tree tops and weighing only a pound or less in adulthood, the pygmy slow loris lives up to its name. On March 22nd, Moody Gardens in Texas announced the rare birth of pygmy slow loris twins to mother Luyen and father Icarus. Moody Gardens tells us that “Luyen has been a very attentive and good mother to the twins. The babies stay attached to their mom for the majority of the day, taking plenty of opportunities to nurse.” In adulthood, these primitive primates, rely on their human-like hands and huge eyes to hunt tasty insects at night.

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Below: The bashful female at just 15 days old.

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Below: The curious male, also at 15 days old.

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Below: Video of the twins that belongs in the adorability record books. 

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