Online traffickers of endangered animals are breaking international laws and putting rare species of animals in jeopardy. As recently as January 2017, an online trader in Cirebon, West Java, thought he’d make some money by selling some endangered animals. Fortunately, before he could box them up and ship them to his contact, the International Animal Rescue Indonesia team in Ciapus came to their aid.
There were a lot of the winsome creatures there.
What were they? 19 Critically Endangered Javan slow lorises. “Sixteen adults and two juveniles: eight males, ten females and one newborn,” explained Wendi Prameswari, Head Vet at International Animal Rescue Indonesia. Achmad Pribadi, Head of the Sub Directorate for the Protection and Security of Forests, said that the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) includes Javan slow lorises in the Red List of Threatened Species.
The slow lorises were huddled together in plastic boxes, awaiting shipment to a buyer. Selling endangered species is illegal, but so is buying them! Pribadi says that unless strict measures are taken now, it is highly likely that the Javan slow loris will be extinct in 5 years.
The captivating lorises are one of the most endangered species of primates in the world. While most of them seized in this raid were healthy, the newborn died en route to the IAR rescue and rehabilitation center. Up to 80% of captured lorises die before reaching their destination.
These little creatures were suffering from dehydration and some had eye infections, but that is not the usual situation. Generally, they have their teeth clipped, too, which these did not have.
All of the lorises showed wild behaviors, indicating that they had not been in captivity for long. Head veterinarian Dr Wendi Prameswari from IAR Indonesia said, “We hope these animals can be returned to the wild, where they belong, as soon as possible.”
Please don’t buy exotic animals! When you do, you risk contributing to their demise in the wild.