Distribution: South-east Asia
Description: Slow Lorises vary in the colour of their fur. Most are a reddish-brown or grey on the top of their body with a lighter colour underneath. Some also have a different coloured line of fur running along their back and down the middle of their face.
They are extremely good climbers and have a very strong grip which is useful for climbing. They have extra vertebrae in their spine, giving them a greater range when they twist and extend to reach a branch.
Lorises have forward-facing eyes and exceptional vision and depth-perception. They have a long, curved claw on their second toe which they use for scratching.
Unusual for a primate, Slow Lorises produce a venom.
Diet: These nocturnal animals are omnivores and feed on insects, small mammals and birds, and a variety of fruits and vegetables.
In the wild: While Slow Lorises move through the rainforest treetops with slow, fluid movements, they can move very quickly when catching prey. They advance slowly so as not to startle their prey, but once they are in striking distance they move quickly to subdue it.
When they are feeling threatened, the Slow Loris will raise its arms above its head in a diamond shape. This allows it to quickly lick its brachial glands where a special chemical is produced. This is then mixed with saliva and becomes toxic. With its sharp teeth, the Slow Loris delivers a powerful and painful bite.
The Slow Loris’ main predators include cats, Sun Bears and palm civets.
Threats: They are caught and kept as pets and habitat destruction is no doubt having an effect on their population. They have also been hunted for their fur and body parts.
At Perth Zoo: Be mesmerised by our male Slow Loris in the Nocturnal House.
Did you know? A Slow Loris has such a strong grip with their hands and feet that they can gather food hanging upside down using its front hands to capture and hold prey. They also have specialised blood vessels in their hands which allow them to hold on to branches for hours.