NORFOLK, Va. — Author's note: the video above is from August 5, 2021.
The Virginia Zoo has two fluffy new companions!
Diana and Kelapa are Prevost's squirrels, and they've found a new home in the park's ZooFarm in an exhibit next to the yellow barn.
Virginia Zoo spokesperson Ashley Mars said the species is from the Malay Peninsula and East Indies area of Asia and is also known as the "tri-colored squirrel" for their black, brown, and white markings.
Female Diana and male Kelapa are supposed to be a breeding pair. They were introduced at the zoo and are still getting to know each other.
They're not endangered, but Mars said the squirrel couple was brought to them through the Species Survival Plan, and zookeepers have their fingers crossed for lots of healthy litters.
Prevost's squirrels can have three litters of one to two babies per year, and the squirrels generally live 10-15 years.
Diana is one year old, and Kelapa is two.
"Kelapa is outgoing, bold, adventurous, and is slightly larger with a fluffier tail. He also tends to eat his food while hanging upside down from his hind legs," Mars said in a news release. "Diana is shy, cautious, independent, and smaller in size. They both like to sleep in the wooden nest boxes, chew bamboo sticks, and hide in their baskets filled with hay."
Welcome to Norfolk, friends!