‘Tis the season indeed – the season for loris babies! Although lorises do not have regular breeding or birthing seasons, we have had a baby boom of sorts in Cipaganti. Four of our loris-ladies have been joined by an extra set of eyes staring back at us. Tereh, Lucu, One-Eye and Shirley all are raising a new generation of lorises in our forests, and it’s been a privilege to watch the youngsters grow and learn. Loris babies will stay with the mother for up to 18 months before they have learned everything they need to survive in the forest. In this time, they will learn what foods to eat, where to sleep safely, who to socialize with, and how to adopt their venom pose and use it. After they’ve taken all this on board, both the males and females disperse to new territories in search of a partner. And so the network keeps expanding! Lucu’s mother, Charlie, was one of our first focal animals. With Lucu’s baby, we are now observing a third generation which gives us further insight into loris learning and relationships.
It’s been a very cute period, too. As much as we are scientists and always remain objective, there is no denying that the tiny fluff ball that is a loris baby is adorable! As they grow older they become more boisterous and playful, and we’ve observed father Azka play with his little one a few times. This play will be vital for when the baby grows up as it prepares them for social interactions.
So as the season goes on, we hope to see more loris babies (there have been some big bellies!) and learn even more about their development, dispersal, and life history.
- Faye Vogely, Public Relations & Outreach Officer