Rare, poisonous night monkeys born in Amersfoort Zoo

Two rare night monkeys, also called slow lorises, were born in a zoo in Amersfoort. The monkeys are nocturnal and move slowly, hence the name slow lorises, but have venom glands on their elbows and can move quickly when provoked, allowing them to protect their young and hunt.

The monkeys are only seven centimeters tall

The cute-looking baby monkeys are only seven inches long, and some species of the creature can grow up to 37 inches in adulthood. Despite their cute appearance, the monkeys can be deadly, with poison glands on their elbows that can lick mothers and transfer poison to their young to protect them from predators.

But even with this protection, the monkeys have become endangered in the wild. Originally found in Vietnam, Laos and other parts of Southeast Asia, slow lorises range from critically endangered species, such as the Bangka slow loris, to the endangered Bengal slow loris, and the more commonly spotted but nevertheless vulnerable Bornean slow loris. According to primate experts, all slow loris populations in the wild are believed to be at risk.

Amersfoot’s newest monkeys are settling into their new home

The two recently born monkeys have settled into their new home, an enclosure at the zoo. The babies, twins, live at the zoo with their father and mother, and the zoo has taken many photos to track their development. They are doing well,” says care provider Christel Broekman NOS. “The twins look around curiously, but for now they explore the environment from their mother’s belly or the plants.”

The pygmy slow loris is known for its high visibility at night, which also makes the animals vulnerable to predators due to their highly reflective eyes. The animals are nocturnal and hide in trees during the day, but can move quickly as they hunt for insects to eat.

“Before the mother goes hunting, she licks her elbows, which have special poison glands. She then licks her young, so that the poison protects the young animal from predators,” says Broekman. “The new mother protects her young. That’s why we have to wait until the mother allows us to get close,” the caregiver added.

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