While there are many exotic pets, one of the most exotic is the Slow Loris; the Slow Loris is so exotic that it is illegal in most areas.. This cute animal gets a lot of attention when somebody shares a video on YouTube. But their adorable appearance hides a deeper shame. As such this article is written, not to encourage you to get a Slow Loris as a pet, but rather to let you know the truth about these exotic animals and why they are illegal as pets in most of the world.
photo source - because they are illegal in the pet trade, some vendors dye them to make Slow Loris look like other species.
What are Slow Loris?
Slow Loris are a type of primate that are native to the south and southeastern areas of Asia. There are five species of Slow Loris and all are considered vulnerable or endangered. Slow Loris vary in size from about the size of a small rabbit to a medium rabbit.
Slow Loris are nocturnal omnivores. They have large round eyes on a round face, which makes them look very cute in the videos, but another unusual feature, a toxic bite, is one of the things that causes so many issues for these animals as exotic pets.
About the Slow Loris Pet Trade
Slow Loris are illegal as pets in most areas, additionally capturing them and taking them from their native areas is illegal, but they do not breed well in captivity. Because of the demands of the pet trade Slow Loris are being captured and sold in markets or exported to Japan where they are sold. They have also been illegally smuggled into China, Russia, and the United States.
Capture often involves younger Slow Loris being taken from their mothers, and their mothers being killed in the process (used for traditional medicines or their bodies displayed to ward off evil). When removed from their mothers so young, the Slow Loris do not always survive.
Slow Loris have a toxic, but not fatal, bite. When threatened it is their natural instinct to bite. As such in the pet trade teeth are often pulled out. This is usually done by non-professionals, with out the use of painkillers or antibiotics. Dental infection is common and nearly always fatal.
Even after being sold, survival rate of a Slow Loris tends to be poor. They are often stressed, and may still be fighting an infection from having their teeth removed. Malnourished and underfed animals have been found by rescue groups, such as the IAR, or International Animal Rescue, who frequent the markets where the Slow Loris are often sold. They have noted that some people have taken to dying the fur on the animals to disguise their identity.
Slow Loris also have a very strong odor which some people may find offensive over time. As such some Slow Loris are abandoned and set wild, however without their teeth their ability to survive in the wild is almost zero.
Slow Loris are normally nocturnal, but many people who keep them as pets try to force them to be awake in the day, thus causing stress for these tiny animals.
If you have seen a video of Slow Loris you may think they are cute, but sadly sharing these videos only supports the cruelty of the illegal trade of these exotic animals as pets.
Further Reading: Earthtimes.org