Xena’s return – fieldwork with the Little Fireface Project team27/11/2019
Over the past few months, we have had quite a few new slow loris additions into our LFP family. It all really started with the sighting of Xena, a female loris we thought had dispersed and left her homerange last year. It is normal for slow lorises, especially younger ones, to move from homerange to homerange in order to find the one they like the most. Then, they will settle down and have offspring. So, we assumed that Xena was just looking for a home that suited her needs better. But, about six months ago, she showed up again! Maybe she decided that her original area actually was the best option. We were so happy to see her and be able to begin collecting data on her again.
What’s more amazing, is that Xena is a former pet loris, who was rescued by the local animal conservation authority (BKSDA). A few years ago, together with BKSDA, we released Xena into our study site. The fact that she was able to find food and establish a good homerange by herself is a huge testament to her adaptability and intelligence.
A few months after we spotted Xena again, we began to notice 2 other slow lorises within Xena’s homerange. After many attempts, we were finally able to capture both of them. To our surprise, they were both quite young. Because they stayed within Xena’s homerange, this likely means that they are her offspring! In honor of Xena, we named them Xandie and Xerxes. We are now regularly collecting data on them, and they often interact with each other and their mother. Xerxes, a male, is older that Xandie, a female. He seems to be in the subadult phase of his life, meaning that he may decide to disperse from his family’s homerange one day soon.
Xandie, on the other hand, is much younger (and cuter!) You can tell that she is still a juvenile due to her fluffy hair and face. Juveniles also tend to have lighter facemasks and hair. You can see that she and brother Xerxes look quite different in their photos. She will stick around mother Xena for perhaps another year or so.
It looks like Acil had journeyed back into his former area, and there found Xena. Together, they started a family! What a happy ending for them both.
By Professor Anna Nekaris
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