An illegal wildlife trader has been caught red-handed in Indonesia, reports International Animal Rescue (IAR) – just in time to save nine Javan slow lorises, members of a Critically Endangered species of primates. The trader was found to be in possession of not only the nine lorises, but also a wreathed hornbill that, as is believed by the rescuers, was meant to arrive in China.
The man was apprehended by a Law Enforcement team from the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry in Kediri, East Java on July 13, 2017.
The police operation, which ended in a great success, was prompted by information from the public about the trader’s presence on social media.
The rescued slow lorises, five males and four females, were found to be suffering from many injuries – those inflicted by the captor and those appearing during their time in captivity. Some of the animals had their teeth cut. Others had facial injuries – an effect of being packed tightly into a small container.
The animals were given emergency treatment by IAR’s medical team from the primate rescue center in Bogor, West Java. “The lorises are all suffering from stress, dehydration and hunger,” said Veterinarian Dr Imam Arifin. “Three of them have already had their teeth cut by the trader to make them easier to handle, while two others have friction wounds on their noses as a result of being packed together so tightly.”
The veterinarian explained that four of the lorises had been crammed in a cardboard box taped up with just some tiny air holes in the side and they had no food or water. They were sent by delivery service on a train to Kediri and, without a doubt, “it is a miracle that the poor creatures survived – and no wonder they are now so stressed and in such poor physical condition.”
According to Benny Bastiawan, Head of Law Enforcement for the Ministry of Environment and Forestry in Indonesian area of Java, Bali, and Nusa Tenggara Region, the trader is now being questioned by investigators in order to gather more information about the network of illegal traders operating on social media.
Slow lorises are suffering greatly because of the practices of illegal hunting and trafficking for pet trade – both crimes taking them closer and closer to extinction. Every year, hundreds of these beautiful animals are sold in Indonesian pet markets. Now, the selling practices are also happening on social media. “On average three slow lorises are taken from the wild each day to supply the illegal pet trade and of these, one is likely to die before it is even sold,” says Programme Director Karmele Llano Sanchez. In effect, the Javan slow loris is now classified as “Critically Endangered” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature – and they desperately need us to take steps towards putting an end to illegal wildlife trade once and for all.
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