Unless you happen to live in Southeast Asia, it’s likely that the only interaction you’ve had with a slow loris is through your computer screen – and chances are you’ve been thoroughly entertained by their adorable antics. After all, slow lorises are extremely cute, who wouldn’t enjoy watching them chow down on a banana or get tickled? Unfortunately, when we delve deeper into how a slow loris ends up domesticated in a house, the idea of having a slow loris as a pet suddenly goes from super cute to very cruel.

Slow lorises have been targeted by the exotic pet trade in recent years because of their undeniable cuteness. Sadly, acquiring these animals for the trade comes at a high cost. They are ripped away from their families, sold in hot, bright markets (despite the fact that they are nocturnal), and their teeth are removed (without painkillers) so that they do not bite their new guardians. All of this cruelty simply to fulfill someone’s dream of owning one of these exotic animals

Thankfully, there are organizations that are doing everything they can to keep slow lorises in the wild where they belong, and saving those that are already in commute within the illegal wildlife trade. Just recently, the organization International Animal Rescue (IAR) got their hands on 34 traumatized slow lorises who were confiscated from traffickers by the police.

The police got to these lorises just in time, they were about to be sold as pets on social media.

Slow Loris 1

According to IAR, some of the lorises have already had their teeth cut and several of them also have serious wounds. They are all showing signs of extreme stress.

Slow Loris 3

Now, the IAR team is working around the clock to stabilize the lorises’ condition and try to save as many of them as possible. 

Slow Loris 5

Although they are doing everything they can, they are in dire need of donations for lifesaving syringes that contain essential vitamins and nutrients for the animals. These syringes are the difference between life and death for these creatures.

Slow Loris 6

These sweet animals deserve so much more than to be carted from one place to another and sold to random people off the Internet. A background check is not administered for buyers and so it’s very easy for these innocent creatures to end up in the wrong hands. 

Slow Loris 2

We hope that a majority of these lorises are able to make a full recovery and return to their home in the wild, a place they should have never been taken from in the first place. 

Slow Loris 4

 

 

While some slow loris guardians claim that they treat their animals with respect and love, the fact of the matter is that these animals belong in the wild and no amount of coddling or care can make up for ripping them away from their families. We can all help slow lorises by raising awareness about the illegal pet trade (sharing this article is a good start!) and making sure that our friends and families know that the seemingly cute videos of slow lorises circulating around social media are actually cruel. To donate money and help International Animal Rescue acquire as many lifesaving syringes as possible, click here.

All image source: International Animal Rescue/Facebook