Hurry up and congratulate slow loris mom Mihn Yih of the Little Rock Zoo in Arkansas!
According to THV11 News, the 3-year-old mama is a pygmy slow loris, as is her 7-year-old mate, Frasier. A first-time mother, Mihn Yih gave birth to the boy and girl babies, Apollo and Artemis, in August, but the zoo just announced the rare arrivals on Sept. 12.
In addition to being cute, the births are a boon for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums: the AZA’s Species Survival Plan now includes the care of 56 pygmy slow lorises.
“Our work in the field of conservation is one of the most important roles we have as an AZA-accredited zoo,” said Susan Altrui, Director of the Little Rock Zoo. “To have not one but two babies born here is significant not just for us but for the future of this vulnerable species.”
Arriving three days earlier than their calculated birth date, Apollo and Artemis are reportedly doing well. The zoo says mother Mihn Yih is very attentive, always gathering food nearby where the babies are “parked” — i.e. a tree branch. Pygmy slow lorises are nocturnal, so they’re active after sunset, and tend to hang upside down by one foot from trees. As the twins grow older, mama should become more comfortable leaving her offspring alone for longer periods of time.
The omnivorous pygmy slow loris is native to Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature considers it vulnerable due to the exotic pet trade, habitat destruction and hunting.
Slow lorises became popular on the Internet due to a viral video of “tickling” one back in 2009. The practice has since been exposed as animal cruelty, however, this has not deterred the adorable creature’s fans who enjoy posting “victory” memes of the animal raising its arms.