Pygmy slow loris

Nycticebus pygmaeus

Pygmy slow loris at Paignton Zoo
IUCN Conservation Status –
Least Concern
Extinct In The Wild
Class: Mammals
Order: Primates
Family: Lorisidae

With their large eyes, it’s clear that pygmy slow loris are a nocturnal species! This member of the primate family is endemic to rainforests in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and China.

The pygmy slow loris is an omnivore, that feasts on a variety of plants, fruits, shoots and insects.

Interesting facts!

  • Pygmy slow lorises are said to be called “slow lorises” due to their speed of movement. They move on all fours, in a motion of hand over foot.
  • Despite their adorable appearance, the pygmy slow loris is in fact the only “venomous” primate that we know of! A patch of venom is stored under the loris’ elbow, which it licks to transfer to its mouth. The venom is used for protection against predators through bites.
  • They are generally considered to be solitary animals, spending nearly all of their time in the trees.


The impacts of habitat loss and capture for the wildlife pet trade are severely affecting wild populations of pygmy slow loris. They are not pets and require expert, specialist care from professional organisations.

As numbers continue to decrease, there are managed breeding programmes within zoos, that our slow loris are included in.