The Slow Loris is a seriously endangered primate that suffers from the curse of being too darn cute. Their big brown eyes and cuddly soft fur have created a demand for them as an illegal but sought after pet. Just because they are cute and soft does not mean that they want to be cuddled. Slow Lorises are in fact, extremely shy, scared of humans and are happiest when they are climbing their way through the jungle, hunting and living at peace with family members of their own species. Thousands of Slow Lorises are poached from their homes within the jungles of Indonesia each year to fill a desire that we have to take them home with us. This illegal trade has become a huge threat to the survival of the species. In Indonesia Slow Lorises are sold on the streets, in markets and even within city malls although Indonesian and International laws ban their trade. I encountered several Slow Lorises at the markets in Jakarta that I wrote about in a previous blog.
Slow Lorises are nocturnal animals that naturally sleep during the day and are active during the night. These shy little animals suffer terrible stress when stolen from their homes, thrown into small cages and exposed to broad daylight. Because of their sharp and toxic bite captors often cut off their teeth causing infection. Frequent infection, their sensitive sleeping pattern and their specific diet make keeping them healthy in captivity tricky. Many die before they have even been sold.
In Java, International Animal Rescue is working to rescue these adorable but wild little primates. At their center in Ciapus they care for 100 Slow Loris that have either been surrendered by owners or confiscated from the illegal wildlife trade. Here the animals undergo medical treatment, rehabilitation and socialization in preparation for release back into the wild. The Slow Loris with their teeth intact are fitted with radio collars and are carefully released back into the wild under observation.
The work being done at IAR’s Java location is crucial to the survival of the species and could be their last hope. During my time at the Caipus rescue center I was once again moved by International Animal Recuse’s devotion and dedication to saving animals and educating the public on the plight of so many animals in need.
If you want to help these beautiful creatures please:
–Support the work of International Animal Rescue.
–Never keep a Slow Loris or any other primate as a pet.
–Watch and share the You Tube video: Tickling Slow Loris — The Truth
-Sign the petition asking YouTube to remove videos of captive slow lorises.