I’m currently getting my teeth stuck into a degree course in Animal Management covering Applied Science and Behavioural topics, and being a (verging on fanatical) loris enthusiast, I can’t help but apply things that I learn and hear in lectures back to my favourite species!
Today was no different;
As an introduction to a particular topic we were discussing the definitions of ‘companion’ animals and ‘pets’, what makes these animals what they are?
Here’s a little list of some of the ideas that were put forward…
- An animal developed to rely on humans
- One that will socalise with humans
- behaves appropriately for home environment/society
- adaptable to our needs and wishes
- A species that we know and understand
NONE of the above can be applied to the Slow Loris as a ‘companion’ or ‘pet’ surely?!
Take a look also, at the following two definitions that we also discussed;
- A loris hasn’t been developed by humans as a pet in anyway, as they are wild animals and an endangered species to boot.
- Lorises, having not been developed as pets, wouldn’t have any natural interest in being our ‘friends,’ an animal tolerating our companionship and actively seeking it out are two very different things!
- Their behaviour is appropriate to lorises in the wild, and we shouldn’t expect them to conform to our wishes, needs or whims!
- Many people that manage to acquire a loris as a pet do not know or understand the creature they end up owning, they simply want it because it is ‘cute’. A factor we decided as a class, is always a must for people when choosing a pet!
Food for thought perhaps, or, just another thing that makes us wonder why people insist on putting creatures who belong in the wild through the torture and suffering of becoming our pet.
As Amanda Tew’s ‘Slow Loris – Jungle Poet‘ said; “Get a Gerbil!!”
I was shocked and HUGELY disheartened to learn yesterday, that within the same week that ITV have been at the centre of conservationists’ concerns due to featuring a monkey on the Jonathan Ross Show, they have now managed to inadvertently promote lorises as pets in their program ‘Super tiny Animals‘ on ITV2.
Although brief, the program mentions, along with a clip, how some exotic species have become popular as pets due to YouTube videos, such as Sonya the loris. And despite the perfect opportunity to educate a captive audience of animal loving viewers, they failed to mention the fact that this is ILLEGAL, that lorises are ENDANGERED and that the animals suffer greatly at the hands of this cruel trade.
Why didn’t the show’s researchers pick up on this fact? And if they did, why did they fail to mention such an important issue?
Loris lover Emily Emmott wasted no time whatsoever in launching this PETITION aimed at ITV2, please click the link to sign, and share with your friends, family and colleagues.
To sign the petition by Danielle Boobyer relating to the Jonathan Ross Show, please click here.
Fans of the Facebook page may already have seen a post from me today about the YouTube phenomena that is the “cute pet slow loris” video, and the effects it may have.
The latest comes in the form of a tshirt design, which, many animal lovers would consider cute. The design, (see below) features a drawing of two lorises holding umbrellas, obviously in homage to the very famous YouTube video tht features an illegally captured loris in the loud, bright conditions of a shop. The poor frightened animal desperately reaches out for anything it might recognise from its home in the jungle, such as a branch… But what it finds is the stem of a cocktail umbrella, thrust toward it by its captor.
Many people, genuine animal lovers, don’t realise the detrimental effect that these videos have on these animals, and how they fuel the illegal trade in them.
As happy as I am to see the loris on a t-shirt, I just wish it highlighted the problems lorises face – but then maybe it has – I have written this post after all!!
T-shirt design by Brat and Suzie.
And today’s star is….
The Slender Loris!!!
By Joachim S. Muller
So here we meet the Slender Loris, the Slow Loris’ slightly leggier cousin. The similarities between the two are apparent at a glance, and yet so are the differences.
I like to think of the Slenders’ as the super models of the loris family! Long slim legs, and impossibly huge eyes! This photo in particular shows of this particular feature, large eyes that let in as much light as possible are awfully handy when you’re nocturnal, the jungle plummets into dense black under the canopy once the sun goes down.
The slender loris can be found in Southern India and Sri Lanka, and their conservation status is largely unknown, as not many studies have been carried out into their numbers in the wild.
This photo was taken by Joachim S Mueller at the Frankfurt zoo which explains its up close, clean finish – lorises are incredibly difficult to photograph in their natural surroundings – only out at night, you have to spot them in the dark trees and use infrared technology, using a flash would be damaging to their sensitive eyes. In fact scientists use red lamps when studying the lorises at night, so as not to harm or disturb them.
With features of a creature out of a storybook, it’s hard not to be captivated by this fascinating, beautiful creature.
Today’s loris of the day is this chap, the Pygmy Loris. (Photo courtesy of Lincoln Park Zoo).
With its super huge eyes, to say the Pygmy Loris is cute is an understatement! But those large eyes are crucial to the loris at night time in the thick darkness of the jungle.
Found in countries including Vietnam, China and Laos they are under threat due to habitat loss and of course, the illegal pet trade.
Lincoln Park Zoo are currently involved with the Pygmy Slow Loris Species Survival Plan. It’s great to hear of Zoos helping out this little known, beautiful species.
** Since posting this photo originally, I have been informed by loris experts at The Little Fireface Project that the colouring I this baby suggests that it had been BLEACHED to alter its colour, and make it more desirable as a pet.
Another very sad, and shocking piece of information from the illegal pet trade. **
Introducing a new feature; Loris of the Day!!
Not only will this segment bring you gorgeous photos of our favourite primate, it will also hopefully serve as an educational tool for those who don’t know much about lorises, or the fact that they are endangered, illegal pets!
Today’s star is a very beautiful Javan Loris that I came across on Pinterest.
Much like YouTube, Pinterest has potential for lorises to get the wrong kind of attention, but, there is also the opportunity for conservationists to raise awareness through the viral nature of photos and videos on the internet.
I repinned this photo to my board ‘slow loris conservation’ with a short description of what a loris is, and why it is threatened. Doing something as simple as this is a great way to get involved with helping the loris, why not repin it yourself by clicking here and joining in!