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.
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.”
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