I recently saw an article about the inadvisability as having these adorable animals as pets. They are cute, but as pets, they suffer horribly. They are victims of the illegal pet trade.
The trend in keeping slow lorises as pets has been steadily growing. Pop star Rihanna recently posted a selfie of herself holding one while Lady Gaga had planned to use one of the animals in a music video until she was bitten by the terrified creature; good for the slow loris!!
The slow loris might look like a harmless, big-eyed baby, but it is one of the only venomous mammals in the world. It carries a toxin that is released from the brachial gland on the sides of its elbows. If threatened, the loris can take the toxin into its mouth and mix it with saliva. The animal may also lick or rub its hair with this mixture to deter predators from attack. The toxin can cause death by anaphylactic shock in some people. The animal's bite is accompanied by hiss-like noises, sinuous moves, and it defensively raises its arms above its head.
• Slow lorises are nocturnal animals. Therefore, being kept in a brightly lit room is incredibly uncomfortable and causes pain and suffering.
• Slow lorises cannot express natural behaviors in captivity. In the wild they travel long distances at night in their search for food. Confining them in small cages is cruel.
• In the wild the slow loris feeds on a diet of fruits and insects which are is hard for an owner to duplicate. As a result, the animal often suffers health problems.
• Slow lorises have a venomous bite that is harmful to humans. Usually their teeth are clipped but if their teeth are still intact they mix venom secreted from a gland inside their upper arm with saliva to deliver a venomous bite. This can cause anaphylactic shock and even death in humans.
• It is illegal in many countries to keep a loris as a pet.
• Slow lorises are in serious danger of extinction, with the biggest threat to survival being the illegal trade in wildlife.
• They use urine to mark their territory.
People may may believe that their pet slow loris was born in a pet shop, but this is highly unlikely because it is notoriously difficult to breed lorises in captivity.
How the slow loris makes its way into the pet world:
Thousands of slow lorises are poached from the wild to be illegally sold on the street or in animal markets. The animal has been poached from the wild, transported in terrible conditions and kept in a cage, in a brightly lit room, fed an inappropriate diet and unable to perform natural behaviors.
• Teeth cutting
Before a slow loris is sold as a pet, its teeth are cut out using nail clippers, wire cutters or pliers with no anesthetic. This makes them easier to handle and protects humans from their potentially deadly venomous bite. This is an incredibly painful procedure; think of having your own teeth pulled or broken off with no anesthetic! This procedure can also lead to bacterial infections and pain and suffering.
Lorises are transported hidden in dark, overcrowded and poorly ventilated containers. The stress of this transport results in a mortality rate of between 30 to 90 percent.
People like to tickle the slow loris because their reaction is cute. But when a slow loris is tickled and raises its arms above its head it is not enjoying it. The poor animal is trying to defend itself by accessing a venomous gland on the inside of its elbow. Given the chance, and if its teeth are still intact, it would give the person doing the tickling a serious bite.
Slow loris information