Virginia Zoo introduces new Prevost squirrels, Diana & Kelapa


Prevost Squirrels, Sept. 14, 2021 (Photo Courtesy: Virginia Zoo)

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The Virginia Zoo is going “nuts” over two new Prevost squirrels.

Diana and Kelapa are the new furry arrivals at the facility. Female squirrel, Diana, was born in May 2020 and weighs around 13 ounces. Male squirrel, Kelapa, was born in March 2019 and weighs just 1 pound.

Prevost squirrels, also called “tri-colored squirrel,” are known for their unique and colorful fur pattern. The top of their body and the entire tail is black, while the underpart of their body is chestnut brown.

A white line separates the two colors. From nose to tip of the tail, Prevost squirrels grow to be around 20 inches. The life span for Prevost squirrels is 10-15 years. 

Virginia Zoo officials say Diana and Kelapa both completed a routine quarantine period and wellness exams before being introduced to one another in their exhibit at the ZooFarm.

The two were brought to the facility as part of the Species Survival Plan. As a breeding pair, they can have up to three litters per year which consist of one or two young on average.

So how do you tell the two apart?

Well, Kelapa is said to be 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.

Diana on the other hand 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.

Virginia Zoo guests can view Diana and Kelapa at the ZooFarm in their exhibit next to the yellow barn. The facility is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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