Grey Slender Lorises at London Zoo
Lorises are extraordinary but secretive animals that have only recently come to most people’s attention. ZSL London Zoo has the largest of only three breeding populations of Grey Slender lorises in Europe.
Lorises are a group of nocturnal primitive primates that live in the forests of India, Sri Lanka and South East Asia, and feed primarily on insects. Several loris species are highly endangered, such as the Red Slender loris L. tardigradus, which is a key focus of ZSL’s EDGE Mammals programme and the flagship of our conservation work in Indonesia.
At ZSL London Zoo, we have been breeding a relative of the Red Slender loris, the Grey Slender Loris, which is not itself highly endangered. In 2009 we sent on of our keepers, Jo Smith, to Sri Lanka, to find out about the habitat and ecology of the lorises there, as well as the problems facing them. While he was there, Ja was lucky enough to see a subspecies, the montane red slender loris (L. t. nycticeboides), that was previously thought extinct in the wild.
The knowledge that Ja gathered from local conservation organisations and seeing lorises in the wild allowed us to build the enclosure housing the lorises at London Zoo. This habitat obviously suits them well, because out lorises have been breeding well over the past few years, and we now have the largest zoo population of lorises in Europe. Most recently in 2011, two baby females were born at the Zoo to add to our breeding group.Check out the news stories about the recent arrivals at the zoo
and their first health checks .