It Takes Two...Slow Loris Babies to Make Your Day

pygmy slow loris twins photo

Image credit: PRNewsFoto/Moody Gardens

The population of the pygmy slow loris—classified by the IUCN as "vulnerable"—just increased by two. Twins were born at the Moody Gardens zoo in Galveston, Texas, on March 22.

Captive births of pygmy slow loris, Nycticebus pygmaeus, are extremely rare and this addition represents a critical increase to the world-wide population of the species.

baby pygmy slow loris photo

Image credit: AP Photo/Zoological Society of San Diego, Ken Bohn
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Paula Kolvig, assistant curator at Moody Gardens, explained:

This is such an exciting event...we have been keeping a very close eye on these babies, and we are very pleased to see steady growth so far.

The twins were born to Luyen, a ten-year-old femal, and Icarus, a 14 year-old-male. Zookeepers say that Luyen is expected to continue nursing the twins for nine months at which point the family will be allowed to venture into the public areas of their habitat.

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Moody Gardens reports that there are fewer than 75 pygmy slow lorises in North American zoos and less than 200 in captivity worldwide. In the wild, the pygmy slow loris is threatened by habitat destruction and hunting for sale on the traditional medicine marker.

Native to South East Asia, much of the pygmy slow loris' habitat was destroyed when forests were burned during the Vietnam War. Now, the population in Cambodia and Indonesia are under intense pressure due to hunting—the loris is prized for its' large eyes.

The birth at Moody Gardens is a success for both captive breeding programs and conservation programs trying to help the pygmy slow loris in the wild—and the photos help brighten everyone's day.

Loving Nycticebus pygmaeus? Watch this video of a non-pygmy slow loris:
This video seemed really cute, but it turns out that it was hiding a very disturbing reality.
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