AKRON, Ohio — The Akron Zoo announced a rare and threatened primate was born at its facility for only the second time in its history.
A male pygmy slow loris came into the world on Aug. 21. He weighed just 21 grams but has been thriving and now weighs about 185 grams.
The slow loris is indigenous to Vietnam, Laos, China, Thailand, and Cambodia. It makes slow, sloth-like movements and its diet generally consists of fruits, insects, vegetation and small mammals. The species is threatened because of deforestation, hunting and capture for pet trade.
An adult weighs about 7-14 ounces.
“The birth of this rare primate is critical to the future of this species,” commented Akron Zoo President & CEO L. Patricia Simmons. “Trying to save threatened species like the pygmy slow loris and educate people about them is the vital role we, as an accredited zoo through the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, play. Births like this are extraordinary and I commend our Animal Care Staff for their hard work.”
The baby slow loris was the first birth for the mother, Casey.
The father, Frank, also fathered the first pygmy slow loris to be born at the Akron Zoo back in 2008.
The zoo said in a press release:
“The Akron Zoo is proud to have these primates as part of the Pygmy Loris Species Survival Plan (SSP). The mission of an Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan® (SSP) Program is to cooperatively manage specific, and typically threatened or endangered, species population within AZA-accredited Zoos and Aquariums. Through scientifically-controlled managed breeding programs, SSP’s are a proactive approach to preventing extinction. SSP’s were formed back in 1981 to help ensure the survival of endangered species.”
The pygmy slow loris is being raised by its mother off exhibit in the zoo’s Animal Care Center.