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.

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