The Memphis Zoo recently welcomed a new baby pygmy slow loris, and he’s perfectly tiny and perfectly adorable.
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The rare primate was born to zoo natives Samper and Artemis on December 13, and it was quite a celebration. But before the public could see the little guy, workers were busy hand-raising” him behind the scenes.”
To keep him healthy, he had to eat formula every two hours 24/7. He first started eating with a bottle, but today, he’s able to feast on a mix of “banana, leaf eater biscuit, water, and formula” out of a bowl.
When the Memphis Zoo first announced the birth, it shared that baby pygmy slow loris had yet to be named. But after getting to know him, they finally landed on “Gizmo,” like the adorable magwai from Gremlins. Fortunately, If you feed this guy after midnight, he won’t turn into a monster, though. But, he can be dangerous.
Pygmy slow lorises are venomous— the only known venomous primate on the planet. Native to Southeast Asia, the nocturnal animals live in trees and feast on insects. Because of their size, they’re highly vulnerable, so nature outfitted them with modified sweat glands around their elbows.
When they feel threatened, they can secrete a toxin that they lick off themselves and spread onto their teeth. Then the pygmy slow lorises attack predators by biting them and transferring that toxic into their bloodstreams. According to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute, the venom can “incapacitate predators as large as humans.”
It’s unclear exactly how many pygmy slow lorises exist in the wild because of their reclusive lifestyles, but they are officially on the endangered species list. The zoo explained that habitat loss and illegal trading have been demolishing their population.
If all goes as planned, Gizmo might be joining the Memphis Zoo’s “Animals of the Night” exhibit, USA Today.
You can find the source of this story’s featured image here.
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