It’s a face only a mother could love…but I’m sure the rare set of pygmy loris twins born at Moody Gardens in Galveston are melting the hearts of everyone who sees them.
GALVESTON, Texas – Moody Gardens guests get a special treat this summer: the chance to see two rare pygmy slow loris offspring, born June 13, on exhibit in the Rainforests of the World Exhibit.
“They are very cute,” said Paula Kolvig, assistant curator at Moody Gardens. “We are excited for our slow loris family, and even more excited that our visitors will be able to see them grow up in the Rainforest Pyramid.”
The addition of the second set of twins is a rare and valuable boost to the population of this primitive primate species called prosimians that are found in tropical forests of Laos, Vietnam, China and Cambodia. These arboreal (tree-living) primates were nearly extinct in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Much of the forests where the loris lived were destroyed. After the Vietnam War, deforestation continued to be a threat. Due to numerous environmental dangers, the species is listed as “vulnerable” by United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
To assist in repopulating the species, Moody Gardens, an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), teamed up with the AZA to participate in a Species Survival Plan (SSP). The birth at Moody Gardens was a great success of this cooperative breeding and conservation program, which helps ensure the survival of the species in both the wild and captivity.
The babies were born to mother Luyen and father Icarus. Moody Gardens has had successful breeding and births with this pair since 2006. The parents are 11 and 15 years old and have been an integral part of the Moody Gardens animal collection for seven years.
“Icarus is off exhibit while the twins are very young, so they spend their day by Luyen’s side for comfort and nursing,” Kolvig said.
Visitors can see Luyen and the twins in the Rainforest Pyramid at Moody Gardens. For information, visit moodygardens.org or call 800-582-4673.
Moody Gardens® is a public, non-profit, educational destination utilizing nature in the advancement of rehabilitation, conservation, recreation, and research.