Two more Pygmy Slow Lorises born at Lake Superior Zoo
The Lake Superior Zoo announced the birth of two more Pygmy Slow Lorises, bringing the family total up to six. The babies were a surprise to the zookeepers, as it’s difficult to know when these animals are expecting. They were discovered by a zoo guest February 8th and are now about the size of a thumb.
Mom Colby and Dad Giorgio welcomed set of twins, Gnocchi and Pesto, in March of 2022, meaning they’ve had four babies in the same year.
Zoo staff say they will likely stick with the pasta theme for the babies names. The babies’ sexes are unknown at this time.
Zookeeper Daniel Johnson tells us it’s not unusual for these animals to have a second set: “As low as 50% of baby Pigmy Slow Lorises are born in a twin pairs.”
It’s remarkable achievement for the Lake Superior Zoo and their work with Species Survival Plan (SPS) among AZA accredited facilities. They aim to prevent these animals from going extinct by breeding them and eventually reintroducing them to the wild.
Duluth’s zoo has 6 of the 42 Pygmy Slow Lorises in accredited zoos across the country.
All members of the Loris family are currently listed as threatened and endangered. They’re affected by the pet trade, hunting, and habitat destruction.
Pygmy slow lorises are primates, specifically prosimians. Meaning they don’t have opposable thumbs like other monkeys.
Johnson explains, “Slow Lorises are not as socially advanced as higher primates. They’re not as intelligent mainly due to the size of their brains. So they won’t has a distinct or extensive social grouping. You won’t see them in groups much more than two or four. So to have six of these guys together at a time is pretty unique.”
If zoo guests would like to see the babies, they are most active in the mornings and early afternoons when mama Colby is moving around and eating. They are in the primate building in the nocturnal area.