POLL: Should the illegal wildlife trade in slow lorises be stopped?

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The tourism industry has taken some big steps to stop the exploitation of wild animals, but a recent rescue effort has highlighted how much more needs to be done on our part to help stop the .

After receiving reports of 17 slow lorises being kept in deplorable conditions as an attraction for visitors at a resort in West Borneo, wildlife officials and rescuers from International Animal Rescue (IAR) headed to the scene to help.

Unfortunately, there were only ten lorises when they arrived. Of those, only seven were alive, while the bodies of the three who had died had been left to rot in their enclosure.

They had been to a small area with only three trees, and despite being shy and nocturnal animals, they were subjected to spotlights at night so visitors could view them.

Photo credit: International Animal Rescue

According to IAR, the owner had bought them from local villagers for just $7.62 USD each. Thankfully, in his absence an employee at the resort signed them over to rescuers, who quickly gathered the survivors and began the trip back to IAR’s rescue center.

All of them were in bad shape. They were stressed, dehydrated and underweight. Their teeth had all also been cut out to make them defenseless, which led to problems with their mouths and infections in their gums. One female, named Mia, was suffering from a host of health issues, and despite valiant efforts to save her, she didn’t survive.

“The environment these lorises were being kept in failed to meet their most basic needs. Slow lorises are shy . They spend their days sleeping, hidden away deep in the forest, and emerge in the cool darkness of the night to hunt for food.

These captive lorises were victims of shocking cruelty and neglect. They were kept under blinding lights to make them visible to tourists and had insufficient space and vegetation to move around and find food.

Their teeth had been cut which will have affected their ability to catch and eat insects and their infected mouths must have been causing them considerable pain. No wonder they were all underweight and dehydrated.

Had our team not rescued them, I have no doubt that more of them would have died before too much longer,” said Alan Knight OBE, Chief Executive of IAR.

While they won’t be able to return to their jungle home because of the damage to their teeth, they will at least now get the care they need.

Unfortunately, cases like this highlight the need for far more to be done to protect these unique creatures, whose cuteness has led to a demand for them that’s threatening their survival in the wild and causing serious problems for those who have been taken into captivity.

According to IAR, it’s estimated that every day three slow lorises are taken from the wild. The organization’s team in has rescued more than 500 of them from the . Right now, the organization has 150 in its care at its Primate Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in West Java – the majority of who can’t be released because their teeth have been cut.

Hopefully this latest rescue will help raise more awareness about their plight and encourage tourists to avoid facilities that are using slow lorises, and other wild animals, as attractions.

“We would urge anyone who comes across wild animals in situations like these lorises to express their concerns about them to those responsible and also to contact a local animal welfare group so that action can be taken to help them,” added Knight.

For updates and more on how to help, visit International Animal Rescue and its Tickling is Torture campaign.

This article was first published by Care2.com on 25 Apr 2017.

We invite you to share your opinion whether the illegal wildlife trade in slow lorises should be stopped? Please vote and leave your comments at the bottom of this page.

Should the illegal wildlife trade in slow lorises be stopped?

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Editorial Comment: The purpose of this poll is to highlight important wildlife conservation issues and to encourage discussion on ways to stop . By leaving a comment and sharing this post you can help to raise awareness. Thank you for your support.


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Steve Gent

What a stupid headline.

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

slow loris

i am part of the endangered animals chorus.
i am a slow loris.
though cute you think i be,
i do not belong in your company.
so please do not let me
be plied and played
by those in the so called
pet trade.

Anne Grice

One would have to be disturbed to imprison these animals and other wild life as pets! This is a problem created by every country because wild life was never prohibited as pets from the begining. Time to undo all the damage done when freedom to abuse wild life started. Ban captivity of wild life now and end this cruelty!

Kathleen Colley

Couldn’t agree more with you, Max. What some people do with and to animals, birds etc is disgusting. Those people are severely damaged, their minds are twisted and inhuman. They need to be put away for good, in high security mental institutions.

Max Hanna
Max Hanna

These people who make money by exploiting innocent animals should all be stopped – we need heftier laws to protect these animalsl – All wild life should remain WILD and not put in cages or killed for their fur or hunted to satisfy some macho idiot who wants to claim he killed one of them! We need to keep bringing these causes to light and maybe some day – people will get the message and stop hurting animals!