The Greater Slow Loris is unusually slow-moving for a monkey. Their population is declining because people capture them to keep as pets. The Greater Slow Loris lives in the tropical forests that extend from Southeast Asia to the eastern part of India. They like to eat fruits, seeds, and insects. Because they move so slowly, they have to be very careful to avoid detection as they approach their prey. The Greater Slow Loris lives in the treetops. They use both their toes and fingers to grip branches.
The Greater Slow Loris is a small monkey measuring only 30 cm. Monkeys are known for their agility, capable of jumping from branch to branch. But as its name implies, the Greater Slow Loris is a very slow mover. Unable to jump or move quickly, they move about treetops ever so slowly. Do not worry though, because this does not make them prone to attack. It actually makes them more unnoticeable. Unfortunately, while their slow lifestyle protects them in the wilderness, it has tragic consequences elsewhere...
Why they are endangered
Today, the Greater Slow Loris is on the brink of extinction. The reason is because many people catch them to keep as pets. They have become popular pets because people assumed they were easy to own based on their cute looks and slow-moving behavior. Pet owners cut or remove their teeth to keep them from harming other loris and people. This causes them to become sick and eventually die. Even if they survive, without their teeth, the Greater Slow Loris cannot survive in the wilderness.
Slow lorises are sold locally at street markets, but are also sold internationally over the Internet and in pet stores. They are especially popular or trendy in Japan, particularly among women. The reasons for their popularity, according to the Japan Wildlife Conservation Society, are that "they're easy to keep, they don't cry, they're small, and just very cute." Because of their "cuteness", videos of pet slow lorises are some of the most frequently watched animal-related viral videos on YouTube. In March 2011, a newly posted video of a slow loris holding a cocktail umbrella had been viewed more than two million times, while an older video of a slow loris being tickled had been viewed more than six million times. According to Nekaris, these videos are misunderstood by most people who watch them, since most do not realize that it is illegal in most countries to own them as pets and that the slow lorises in the videos are only docile because that is their passive defensive reaction to threatening situations. Despite frequent advertisements by pet shops in Japan, the World Conservation Monitoring Centre reported that only a few dozen slow lorises were imported in 2006, suggesting frequent smuggling. Slow lorises are also smuggled to China, Taiwan, Europe, Russia, the United States, and Saudi Arabia for use as pets.
What can we do help
Your contribution will help protect the slow loris via supporting:
1. conservation education activities in slow loris range countries
2. field work on wild and reintroduced slow lorises
3. market surveys and law enforcement training initiatives
4. students to be able to study for Masters and PhD degrees to carry out these important studies with scholarships
Website link: http://www.nocturama.org/help-the-loris/
Beliefs about slow lorises and their use in traditional practices are deep-rooted and go back at least 300 years, if not earlier based on oral traditions. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it was reported that the people from the interior of Borneo believed that slow lorises were the gatekeepers for the heavens and that each person had a personal slow loris waiting for them in the afterlife. More often, however, slow lorises are used in traditional medicine or to ward off evil. The following passage from an early textbook about primates is indicative of the superstitions associated with slow lorises:
Many strange powers are attributed to this animal by…