A tweet from Matthew

November 11, 2012 • 12:49 pm

For one thing, it’s captive: born in a Japanese pet shop.

Slow lorises are endangered primates from Southeast Asia.  Read part of the Wikpedia entry:

All five species are listed as either “Vulnerable” or “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List and are threatened by the wildlife trade and habitat loss. Although their habitat is rapidly disappearing and becoming fragmented, making it nearly impossible for slow lorises to disperse between forest fragments, unsustainable demand from the exotic pet trade and traditional medicine has been the greatest cause for their decline. Deep-rooted beliefs about the supernatural powers of slow lorises, such as their purported ability to ward off evil spirits or cure wounds, have popularized their use in traditional medicine. Despite local laws prohibiting trade in slow lorises and slow loris products, as well as protection from international commercial trade under Appendix I, slow lorises are openly sold in animal markets in Southeast Asia and smuggled to other countries, such as Japan. They have also been popularized as pets in viral videos on YouTube. Slow lorises have their teeth cut or pulled out for the pet trade, and often die from infection, blood loss, poor handling, or poor nutrition.

I doubt that any reader here would buy a slow loris because of this video, but because I’m putting up a video, I need to emphasize that YOU ARE NOT TO BUY OR WANT ONE!

15 thoughts on “A tweet from Matthew

  1. Upon loading this post, my brain at first just couldn’t make sense of Mr. Cobb’s tweet.
    It seemed like a gibberish sentences made by one of those on-line syntax generators. Or like the Monty Python
    “dirty Hungarian phrase-book” sketch “my hover-craft is full of eels…”

    But then I saw the creature in the video, the sentence made sense, and I feel sane once again.

    Very cute lil’ guy!


  2. According to the Youtube poster, the animal has its teeth and was bred in a Japanese pet shop. It’s still awfully sad.

  3. I suspect the little guy looks sad regardless of his circumstances but the species’ situation is very sad indeed.

  4. Why isn’t it a good thing to have found evidence that the market has begun to provide an endangered species with a domestic breeding program which is not reliant on philanthropy?

    As for the sadness, isn’t that just being projected onto the loris because its fur patterns coincidentally resemble eyebrows gathered upward by “Darwin’s grief muscle”, something with no more meaning that the faces that ..other people.. project onto random patterns on a slice of burnt toast?

  5. I feel bad for his digestive system if he’s eating rice. The GI tract of a slow loris was not meant to process grain.

    1. The wikipedia article lists them as being omnivorous, but that narrow snout and fine teeth speaks more insectivory and small-animal-vory than pure-carbohydrate-paste-vory. It just doesn’t look right, diet-wise, to me either.
      That’s a horribly impoverished cage environment for an arboreal primate.
      Score me in the “deeply depressing” column, not the “ineffably cute”.

  6. Not all strepsirhines eat so pensively – a greater bushbaby with grapes is a sight to behold: lots of cramming in with the flats of the hands, grunting, sneezing, blowing bubbles with the juice that gets up its nose, squealing and outraged looks. Still sad in captive animals though.

  7. The big eyes facing forward suggest a noctural predator, like an owl – but a slow predator would imply slow prey. What does it usually eat? Slugs?

  8. I found this hard to watch. Yes, I’d love to see one…in the wild. And don’t these creatures usually eat bugs and fruit? Where would they get cooked white rice in the jungle?

  9. The major problem for animals such as this is that they are so cute, people want one without thinking about the needs of the animal.

  10. Oh shit. Alright, it is one of the cutest looking animals I can imagine. It has ET eyes, moves slowly, is not aggressive and is just gorgeous. I agree with Vaal on that.

    I know, thanks to the wiki excerpt posted by Jerry above, that they are endangered and sold to satisfy idiot ideas by idiots and as domestic pets.

    It is the fate of a lot of wild animals and that is not an apology. Vaal wouldn’t apologise either. I have little regard for our species in its idiocy.

    White rice is something our guts have learned to handle. The loris’ gut will also handle it. It doesn’t get its normal species diet and neither do western first worlders. We can handle it. That’s not the worry.

    If their teeth are pulled it is like de-clawing cats. Having big cats as pets or lizards or birds of prey.

    I think that although slow lorises are born in captivity and kept as pets, they will often end up in zoos.

    I hope this one does. I can’t excuse it but I can’t condemn it any more than any other human behavioural oddity.

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