Chances are, you probably haven’t heard of this tiny, magnificent creature. However, the slow loris is in constant danger and this story should be a wake-up call to all animal lovers out there.
Two men had captured 79 slow lorises and stuffed them into small crates where they had barely enough food and water to survive.
The slow lorises, taken from the jungle in West Java, Indonesia, were crammed into boxes and were about to be sent to China where they would be sold as pets. They were terrified, stressed, and clinging to life. Thankfully – a neighbor in the area had noticed what the two men were doing and immediately notified authorities.
Soon after receiving the call, police reached out to the officials of the West Java Regional Office of the Forestry Department (BKSDA) and International Animal Rescue (IAR). A rescue team was quickly put into place and they descended upon the house where the slow lorises were being kept.
Authorities were able to arrest the two men, but the slow lorises were in terrible condition.
“There were two or three in each box,” Lis Key, PR and communications manager for IAR, told The Dodo. “Being kept in there for as long as two months must have been frightful for them. For a shy, nocturnal wild animal, confinement in one of those boxes for any length of time must have been traumatizing, let alone being moved around and transported.”
Upon examination, it was found that many of the slow lorises had bite marks and wounds on their bodies. It’s assumed that they most likely inflicted these wounds on each other due to the amount of stress that they were under while in captivity.
“Captive wild animals often develop stereotypical [abnormal] behaviors to cope with their stress,” Key said. “They are at risk of biting each other [and] carrying out repetitive movements, such as head bobbing or swaying to and fro, crying, failing to eat or drink, trying to hide in a corner of the box.”
Watch the viral video of a slow loris being ‘tickled’ below and why this is not cute and why they should never be kept as pets.
Rescuers were shocked to find that one of the slow lorises had a BB gun pellet lodged in its little face.
“That poor animal must have been in terrible pain until he came into the care of our medical team,” Key said.
Although it’s cause for celebration that the slow lorises had been found and rescued, sadly, it was too late for some of them. Rescuers fear that other slow lorises may have died and been discarded of before they had arrived. The rescue team is doing everything in their power to help the slow lorises that had survived the ordeal.
Slow lorises are taken from their habitats to be sold as pets – once captured, traffickers will often perform painful procedures to make them ‘pet-worthy’.
Often times, traffickers will clip or completely remove the slow lorises teeth. It’s an extremely painful procedure that is generally done without any kind of anesthesia. They do this so that the animals are easier to handle and can’t ‘fight back’. Thankfully – this horrific procedure had not been done to the slow lorises that were found.
“They are certainly in the best hands now, and our team will give them the best chance of recovering and returning one day to their home in the rainforest,” Key said.
The IAR team is thankful and relieved that they were able to catch these traffickers and save the lives of these precious creatures.
“It is extremely encouraging that the Majalengka Police and the Forestry Department have acted so swiftly and decisively in tackling this wildlife crime,” Key said. “And also very heartening that the local community came forward and reported the illegal activity of the two hunters. It really gives us hope to see local people and government bodies acting to protect wildlife species and punish those who exploit them.”
Watch the viral video below and learn why this gorgeous animal should never be kept as a pet.
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Source: The Dodo