Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Slow Loris: Cute But Deadly

You have probably seen one of these videos of the adorable Slow Loris around the internet the past few years. They are almost painfully cute but are actually poisonous and greatly endangered. Slow Lorises are found in southern and south-eastern Asia and are among the rarest primates on earth. The Slow Loris is nocturnal and has forward-facing eyes and hands with opposable thumbs that are almost human-like.

They are one of a handful of poisonous mammals in the world. The Slow Loris produces venom from glands on the insides of their elbows and when threatened they lick the area in order to venomize their bites. The "venom" is a concentrated protein that acts as an allergen and can cause death by anaphylactic shock. 

The Slow Loris is endangered due to habitat loss and hunting for illegal pet and traditional medical trades. Thousands of Slow Lorises are poached from the wild and sold illegally on the street. The International Animal Rescue has set up a treatment facility in Ciapus, Java to care for Slow Lorises that have been confiscated from animal markets or surrendered by their owners. You can help protect these adorable primates by adopting a Slow Loris through International Animal Rescue.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Happy National Zoo Lovers Day!

Each year people across the nation celebrate National Zoo Lovers Day on April 8th. Today is the perfect day to plan a trip to a zoo in your area. Enjoy this "unofficial" holiday with the 175 million other people who visit zoos each year. The first public zoo in the United States was opened in 1874 in New York's Central Park. Today the United States has over 350 zoos! Here is a look at some fun things you can do at zoos all over the world!

Getting a grip: A tiger at Busch Gardens takes part in a tug of war contest with visitors

At Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay, Florida you can play tug-of-war with a tiger. 

In this aquarium you can shake hands with otters (Happy Holidays!)

At the Keikyu Aburatsubo Marine Park in Japan you can shake hands with an otter.

elephant sea lion

At the Oregon Zoo an Asian elephant named Chendra likes to take morning walks with her handlers. She sometimes likes to visit some of the other animals, especially Gus the sea lion.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Fools Day Animal Pranks

As a kid I always tried to play pranks on my family, which rarely ever worked out. As an adult I've found that the best person to prank is usually my dog. To help you get into the Aprils Fools Day spirit here are some hilarious animal pranks.