Despite the fact that owning a slow loris as a pet or trading it is illegal in all range countries and “all countries where primates as pets are illegal,” the species is still heavily trafficked . . .
If hunters find a slow loris parent with a baby, they often kill the parent. According to ProFauna Indonesia, a wildlife conservation group, poachers have been recorded catching six or seven slow lorises in a single day. Infants are transported in sacks, sometimes several in one sack with their arms tied, or in wire cages, which, due to the primates’ unique network of blood vessels, cut their skin.
Usually, poachers remove the slow loris’ teeth to make the loris a more pleasant “pet.” The teeth are taken out using pliers and without any anesthetic. The practice, which Navarro-Montes calls “evil,” can lead to infection and even death. In addition, losing its teeth makes it difficult for the loris to eat a healthy diet. Slow lorises “are very susceptible to stress when being moved to a new environment or when put in an inappropriate display,” Nekaris says. Due to this sensitivity to stress, it is estimated 30-90 percent of captured slow lorises don’t survive being transported by poachers and made “people-friendly” before being sold as pets.
Even if the slow loris survives long enough to be sold as a pet, it remains a wild animal, not adapted for living with humans. . . Orphaned infant slow lorises also are unable to clean themselves of feces and urine, because their parents would have cleaned them with their tongues and claws.
In addition, pet slow lorises are often undernourished. . . most captive lorises are fed an inappropriate diet which leads to tooth decay, diabetes, obesity, kidney failure, and death.
ProFauna Indonesia has estimated that 6,000 to 7,000 slow lorises are poached every year in Indonesia. This number would be unsustainable even without habitat loss, but the country has one of the world’s highest levels of deforestation—between 1990 and 2005 Indonesia lost 24 percent of its forest, largely to oil-palm plantations and logging. While Indonesia is just one nation that harbors the slow loris, it faces similar threats in all of its native countries. No species can survive such an onslaught for long.
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