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Little Rock Zoo Announces Names of Endangered Pygmy Slow Loris Twins

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LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (August 20, 2021) – The Little Rock Zoo is proud to announce the names of the boy and girl set of twin pygmy slow lorises born in June.  After a naming contest, the names Nova and Sol were chosen by the public.  The twins were born to dad, Frasier, and mom, Minh Yih, and are the second set of twins produced by the parents.  They are a much welcome addition to the Little Rock Zoo family. 

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To celebrate their birth, the Zoo hosted a naming contest for the public.  Zoo staff selected three (3) sets of names from which to choose. Choices for the sets of names were the following:  1) Nova (for the girl) and Sol (for the boy) [Lorises are nocturnal, so these are names that celebrate elements of space and sky]; 2) Garnet (for the girl) and Topaz (for the boy) [After the gemstones that share colors with lorises]; and Eloise (for the girl) and Elmer (for the boy) [Eloise for the beloved childhood character of books and movies, and Elmer since to goes nicely with Eloise.]

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Zoo staff are very pleased with the winning names, Nova and Sol. 

The birth of the slow loris twins comes at a recommendation of the Species Survival Plan ® Program (SSP).The SSP Program, developed in 1981 by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), helps to ensure the survival of select species in zoos and aquariums, which are either threatened or endangered in the wild. Native to Southeast Asian countries (Vietnam, Laos, eastern Cambodia, and China), pygmy slow lorises are listed an endangered species on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) red list.  This means this species is very likely to become extinct in the near future.  They are primarily threatened by loss of habitat due to commercial and residential development, agricultural threats and other environmental threats.

Currently, there are only forty-four (44) pygmy slow lorises in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA’s) population, so the birth of these two at the Little Rock Zoo is significant to the conservation and survival of this species!  The recent births represent an important contribution to the Pygmy Slow Loris SSP (Species Survival Plan). 

With the Little Rock’s Zoo’s mission to inspire people to value and conserve our natural world, the hope is that by housing these animals at the Zoo the public will learn to appreciate them and want to work toward their conservation and those of other species. The Little Rock Zoo is an active supporter of and donor to conservation funds that protect animals all over the world.   Please join the Zoo’s efforts to secure a future for this species and others by donating to our conservation fund.