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The Perils of Being Cute and Cuddly: Rare Slow Lorises Still Sold as Exotic Pets

The Perils of Being Cute and Cuddly: Rare Slow Lorises Still Sold as Exotic Pets

Slow Lorises are a rare big-eyed nocturnal primate found throughout Southeast Asia that continue to be openly offered for sale in Jakarta, although the animal is protected under Indonesian Law.

TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network reports that slow lorises were observed for sale in shopping malls and at a flora and fauna exhibition, designed to raise awareness of Indonesia’s rich biodiversity.

“The openness of the slow loris trade highlights the fact that having one of the region’s best wildlife protection laws and promising to protect species is not enough—there must be stronger enforcement in Indonesia and the public should stop supporting the illegal wildlife trade,” said Chris R. Shepherd, Deputy Regional Director of TRAFFIC Southeast Asia in a statement.

In 2009, a YouTube video of a slow loris (held in captivity) being tickled went viral. While the video did help raise awareness about this rare species, it unfortunately also led to more demand for the animal as an exotic pet. TRAFFIC notes that several international and local groups have subsequently launched online campaigns petitioning for the removal of such videos.

International Animal Rescue is one such group that in addition to launching an online petition, have also shared the following important tips on what you can do to help the slow loris:

  • Never keep a slow loris or any other primate as a pet.
  • Watch and share Tickling slow loris – the truth (see video below)
  • Support the work of International Animal Rescue so that we can continue to save slow lorises and campaign for an end to the illegal trade.
  • Sign International Animal Rescue’s petition asking YouTube to remove videos of captive slow lorises.
  • Protect slow loris habitat from the spread of palm oil plantations by asking your supermarkets only to use palm oil from sustainable forests.

Lastly, you can spread the word about the tragic plight of the slow loris as widely as possible by sharing this article!

Video: Tickling slow loris – the truth

Image Source: snowflakegirl/Flickr

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