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Pledge to end slow loris suffering

Will you join us?

We’re working with the Little Fireface Project, led by Professor Anna Nekaris, who is studying and protecting critically endangered slow lorises in the villages of North East Java. 

Due to their small size and ‘cute’ appearance, slow lorises are in high demand to be illegally sold as pets and for use as props in tourist selfies. Because slow lorises are venomous, their teeth are often pulled out, usually without any anaesthetic. Even if they’re rescued, most can’t be returned to the wild as they can no longer feed properly.

This trade is further fueled by social media around the world. Videos of slow lorises being ‘tickled’ are actually torturing these timid nocturnal creatures. This video of a pygmy slow loris being tickled went viral in 2009. To this day, the video remains a cute and iconic popular image, showing the incredible danger that social media can have on people’s perceptions of conservation.

This video of a slow loris being tickled went viral in 2009. Image credit: Still from YouTube

Slow lorises are also captured and killed for traditional medicines. One loris Anna was monitoring, a three-year old male named Xerxes who was fitted with a radio collar, recently established his territory and found a mate. But last month, Xerxes’ radio signal stopped moving. So did the signals on the collars of two other lorises, which were found discarded on the ground. Tragically, it appears poachers had snatched Xerxes and his companions from the trees, and removed their collars, most likely by killing them.

Many slow lorises and other animals face this terrible fate. Anna is working with undercover traffic officers to monitor the illegal trade in Java, take in rescued animals and raise awareness of slow loris suffering to reduce demand. They’ve hugely reduced the number of slow lorises sold at open markets. But worryingly, trade is now thriving online with 120 animals advertised each month on social media alone. We’re using social media to expose how slow lorises are poached and tortured to meet the pet and tourist trade. More slow lorises are being surrendered, which is positive, but most can’t be returned to the wild due to their teeth being removed. We need to stop them being taken in the first place.

A terrified slow loris being sold at a market in Jakarta. Image credit: Andrew Walmsley
A caged slow loris at market. Image credit: Little Fireface Project

Can you help and take the pledge?

As a social media user, will you pledge to not like or share any content of slow lorises kept as pets online, or any other animals, that should be in the wild?

Pledge to end slow loris suffering

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People’s Trust for Endangered Species

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We'd love to tell you about our conservation work through our regular newsletter Wildlife World, and also how you can save endangered species through volunteering, taking action or donating. You must be 18 or over. The information that you provide will be held by People’s Trust for Endangered Species. For information on how PTES processes personal data, please see our privacy policy.

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