Zoo Snapshot: Pygmy Slow Loris

This is a picture of two slow lorises at the El Paso Zoo.

Pygmy Slow Loris

Nycticebus pygmaeus

Endangered:  Numbers decreasing.

Head to tail 7.7 – 9.1 in weighing 15 ounces.

Habitat: Tropical forests of China, Laos, Indonesia and Thailand.

At the El Paso Zoo: Inside the Asia Forest Nocturnal Exhibit. 

This is a picture of a slow loris.

The loris does not leap through the trees like other primates, but instead uses its feet like clamps to move from branch to branch through the trees.  These nocturnal mammals are difficult to see in the wild, but if one looks with a flashlight it is possible to see their reflective eye shine in the trees. Threats to their future include destruction of forests and people hunting them for food or to make them into pets.  The wild population is estimated to have decreased by 50% over the past few decades.  In Viet Nam, the pygmy slow loris is heavily exploited for traditional medicine as well as for the pet trade. The Zoo is helping to protect this species from the illegal pet trade by supporting the Indonesia Species Conservation Program. This species is managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan (SSP).  

Photos by Josh More, Wikimedia Creative Commons

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