Slow Loris – The Other Side of Cute

I’ve been sitting on this video for a while now, there just never seemed to be enough time to post it up. That said, this video is cute that it was wroth the wait.

If you haven’t seen it before it shows a Slow Loris holding a small parasol umbrella. Here is the Slow Loris’ video:

slow loris with six week old baby
Slow Loris mother and cub

While Slow Loris might be cute they are most definitely not pets, but that doesn’t stop people from taking these strepsirrhine primates into their homes, in Indonesia they are sold as living “toys” to children. While they might be cute they are wild animals. That said certain problems need to be “fixed” prior to them being sold. Since their bite is potenially deadly there teeth need to be removed.

Here are some excerpts from the Wikipedia article.

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 (JWCS), 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 mostly frequently watched animal-related viral videos on YouTube

cruel slow loris nycticebus tooth removal
Cruel Tooth Removal With Nail Clippers

Even within their countries of origin, slow lorises are very popular pets, particularly in Indonesia. They are seen as a “living toy” for children by local people or are bought out of pity by Western tourists or expatriates. Neither local nor foreign buyers usually know anything about these primates, their endangered status, or that the trade is illegal. Furthermore, few know about their strong odor or their potentially lethal bite.

That is the other side of cuteness, the one that most people often do not consider when they bring an animal into there home.

As part of the trade, infants are pulled prematurely from their parents, leaving them unable to remove their own urine, feces, and oily skin secretions from their fur. Slow lorises have a special network of blood vessels in their hands and feet, which makes them vulnerable to cuts when pulled from the wire cages they are kept in. Slow lorises are also very stress-sensitive and do not do well in captivity. Infection, stress, pneumonia, and poor nutrition lead to high death rates among pet lorises. Common health problems seen in pet slow lorises include undernourishment, tooth decay, diabetes, obesity, and kidney failure. Pet owners also fail to provide proper care because they are usually sleeping when the nocturnal pet is awake.

You can read the full controversy about keeping slow lorises as pets.