The Plight of the Slow Loris

The black markets of Jakarta are known as being a hotbed for the sale of illegal animals, including the slow loris, but why is more not done to protect them?

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These black markets in Jakarta, such as at Jalan Barito, are out in full view of the public, and it seems the traders know perfectly well that nothing will be done to reprimand them as they trade in live animals and birds, such as baby crocodiles, macaques, toucans, and owls. If the government in Indonesia were serious about clamping down on this illegal trade then it wouldn’t take a rocket scientist to know where to begin stamping their authority. For the slow loris in particular, being put in a cage or a small box and effectively being “put on sale” is a traumatising experience for them, not only emotionally but also because they are nocturnal creatures, and bright lights are painful to their eyes.

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Slow lorises are routinely taken from their natural habitat in Indonesia to be groomed for sale to the domestic pet market. Their cute facial features and mannerisms may make them seem like the perfect cuddly pet for children, but the reality is these slow lorises are listed as endangered species, and the Indonesian government are not doing enough to stop this illegal trading which could one day leave them extinct. On top of that, the teeth of the slow loris actually emanates poison, as this is how it captures its small prey in the wild. To make sure the slow loris is safe to be kept as a pet, they are painfully stripped of their teeth, often with makeshift utensils such as nail clippers. This can not only cause infection in the slow loris, but could also kill it if left untreated.

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Slow lorises shield their eyes from the bright light as they are naturally nocturnal creatures. I have personally been up close with the slow loris in the jungles of Sumatra in Indonesia, and I know that they only rummage through the trees after dusk in search of small insects to eat, and are hardly ever seen in broad daylight in the wild.

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16 thoughts on “The Plight of the Slow Loris

    1. Thanks for the comment. The slow loris looks so cute and cuddly that so many people want to buy them on the black markets in Jakarta so they can keep them at home – but that is what kills the poor things! 😦

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  1. This is absolutely heartbreaking. I’ll admit I couldn’t really look at your photos, but I’m glad you took them all the same–somebody needs to document what is happening to primates and other animals throughout the world. Thanks for sharing this difficult subject.

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