What are some of your favorite fun facts about pygmy slow lorises?
Pygmy slow lorises are super unique. They are the only known venomous primates! They produce a venom in their brachial glands in their upper arm. Combined with enzymes in their saliva, these primates can produce a painful bite, allergic reaction and a slow-healing wound.
Don’t worry — their venom does not pose a big threat to humans. In fact, wild pygmy slow lorises do not use it against predators because the venom is not fast acting. Instead, these primates use their venom in territorial disputes with other pygmy slow lorises. They also groom themselves with the venom to ward off parasites and warn predators to stay away.
What are Naga and Pabu’s personalities like?
Naga, our 2-year-old female, is more shy and laid-back than our 1-year-old male, Pabu. She will sometimes hang back during enrichment or training sessions but is still inquisitive. She seems to like watching us work. Naga also has gentler demeanor.
Pabu is highly food-motivated. He is more engaged and will readily approach for training sessions and feedings.
What do pygmy slow lorises eat?
Pygmy slow lorises have highly specialized diets that are difficult to replicate under human care. In the wild, between 50 and 70% of their diet is tree sap! Their specialized bottom teeth gouge into the bark of trees and cause sap to flow freely. They visit their gouge sites nightly to consume sap. Wild pygmy slow lorises will also eat fruit, insects and small animals.
At the Small Mammal House, Naga and Pabu get primate gel, a small amount of fruit and veggies, insects and gum arabic. The gum is their sap here and they get it every day!