The Little Rock Zoo recently announced the arrival of two Pygmy Slow Loris babies to their family.
Born in August, the tiny male and female primates are healthy and active in their exhibit. They have been given the names Apollo and Artemis and were born to 3-year-old mom, Mihn Yih, and 7-year-old dad, Frasier.
The new births are part of a Species Survival Plan by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. There are currently only 56 Pygmy Slow Lorises in human care in AZA zoos, including the four at the Little Rock Zoo.
"Our work in the field of conservation is one of the most important roles we have as an AZA-accredited zoo," said Director Susan Altrui. "To have not one but two babies born here is significant not just for us but for the future of this vulnerable species."
Apollo and Artemis were born three days prior to the calculated due date the Zoo's keepers had determined based on observation. So far, first-time mom, Mihn Yih, has been an attentive mother. As she works to gather food, she is careful that she is never too far from where the two siblings are “parked” on branches. As they get older, she will leave them for longer periods of time, until they are ready to be on their own.
The Pygmy Slow Loris (Nycticebus pygmaeus) is a species found east of the Mekong River in Vietnam, Laos, eastern Cambodia, and China. It occurs in a variety of forest habitats, including tropical dry forests, semi-evergreen, and evergreen forests.
The animal is nocturnal and arboreal, crawling along branches using slow movements in search of prey. Unlike other primates, it does not leap. It lives in small groups with one or two offspring. An adult can grow to around 19 to 23 cm (7.5 to 9.1 in) long and has a very short tail, and it reaches a max weight of about 450 g (1.0 lb). Their diet consists of fruits, insects, small fauna, tree sap, and floral nectar.
The Pygmy Slow Loris is classified as “Vulnerable” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. The pet trade, habitat destruction and hunting are the biggest threats to its survival.