Slow and careful: potto added to the Moscow Zoo collection

October 5
Culture

They are the first pottos in the Moscow Zoo collection. These West Africa primates are listed in the International Red Book. The wild population keeps steadily declining.

These animals are most often solitary in wildlife and meet with species of the opposite sex only during the pairing season, but the Moscow Zoo new inhabitants live peacefully in one enclosure. They were quarantined their first month in the Zoo, which is mandatory, and then moved to the Primate House pavilion of the Zoo new site. And since pottos are nocturnal animals, they can be found in the "Night World" exposition.

We tried to create conditions for our new animals as close as possible to natural ones. In the tropics, pottos hardly ever descend from the trees preferring to live in the leaves. They sleep in dense foliage or hollows in the daytime, curled up into a ball, and at night they are in search of food. To make African primates comfortable in the Zoo, we adapted the enclosure for them. They can climb bamboo trunks and vines, and hide in the willow foliage and bamboo branches. Besides, there are wooden houses in the enclosure. We hope the pottos will appreciate the comfortable enclosure and love their new home. Zoologists expect that rare animals will breed in the future,” said Svetlana Akulova, General Director of the Moscow Zoo.

Although pottos are active in the tropics at night, visitors to the Zoo will see them during the day. The fact is that the equipment of the "Night World" exposition makes it possible to deceive the animals a little: the red spectrum lamps imitate the twilight in the daytime, and at night, on the contrary, bright light is turned on making the pottos sleep.

Once in the "Primate House pavilion", you will see how slow, careful and quiet these animals are. They grasp branches firmly. The unique structure of limbs helps them move deftly from tree to tree. The front and back legs have opposable thumbs; the index fingers on the front legs are reduced to a small knob. There is a special “grooming” claw on the second toe of the hind legs, with other toes having flat nails that resemble human ones.

Pottos have an interesting feature: when they sense danger, they freeze in one position. This is facilitated by the unique structure of blood vessels that circulate blood in a stationary position. Thus, the animal does not draw attention to itself; it becomes invisible to predators. Once the threat is over, the potto is back to life.

Wild species diet consists of everything that can be found in tree crowns: insects and their larvae, spiders, slugs, birds and their eggs, bats, fruits and leaves. Zoologists took into account the biological needs of pottos and made their diet similar to that of natural. The menu of the Moscow Zoo new inhabitants includes crickets, locusts, flour beetles, and also acacia gum, fruits, vegetables and root vegetables. Meanwhile, insects are released into the enclosure alive so that the primates do not lose their hunting skills.

The potto (Perodicticus potto) is a primate of the family Lorisidae. In the wild, they can be found in Cameroon, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Cote d'Ivoire and other West African countries. The potto inhabits the canopy of rain forests in the tropics. Their close, woolly fur is grey-brown. The potto grows to a length of about 40 centimeters, and the weight is about a kilogram. The muzzle is broad, with protruding large dark eyes.

The lifespan of wild pottos does not exceed 20 years; in captivity, animals live up to 26.

This is not the only addition to the Moscow Zoo collection in September. Recently, honey badgers became inhabitants of the exposition for the first time. Despite their small size, they are renowned for their brave character. If something threatens their lives, honey badgers do not hesitate to attack. They can easily attack a lion, leopard and buffalo, they are not afraid of poisonous cobras and scorpions. No wonder the animals got into the Guinness Book of Records as the most fearless mammals in the world.

In addition you can see now the tamandua anteaters in the Moscow Zoo. Male Pancho comfortably settled in the enclosure of the Primate House pavilion, while female Lola is still in quarantine.

Source: mos.ru

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