Poached from forest and kept in rusty cages, slow loris is one of the most trafficked animals in Asia because people think their huge brown eyes are cute and would buy them as pets.
One of them, recently rescued in China, has become so scared of humans it screamed and hid itself when vets tried to save it.
An animal lover, who helped rescue the male primate, described the heart-breaking scenes to MailOnline as a video of the animal being treated emerged on the internet.
The wounded slow loris was so terrified of humans it tried to hid itself behind a computer
When vets at a clinic in China tried to hold it, it immediately covered its head with its hands
The animal, found abandoned in Shenyang, China, also screamed when humans approached it
SLOW LORISES SHOULDN’T BE PETS
Slow lorises are nocturnal animals. Therefore, being kept in a brightly lit room causes pain and suffering.
In the wild they travel long distances at night in their search for food, making confinement in a small cage incredibly cruel.
In the wild the slow loris would feed on a complex diet of fruits and insects.
Owners often struggle to meet these special dietary needs. This leads to obesity as well as other serious health problems such as infection, pneumonia, diabetes, metabolic bone disease and malnutrition.
Slow lorises have a venomous bite that is harmful to humans. Usually their teeth are clipped but if they 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.
Slow lorises are in serious danger of extinction, with the biggest threat to survival being the illegal trade in wildlife.
Source: International Animal Rescue
The adult male primate, found in northern China, is believed to have been abused and abandoned by animal traffickers, according to Wang Weiyan, a worker at the Shenyang Raptor Rescue Centre.
It’s known that animal traffickers in Asia would have the animal’s teeth clipped with pliers so they could be sold as pets.
Mr Wang took the slow loris to the clinic on August 29 for medical attention.
The animal, a protected species in China, sustained injuries on its face and had trouble opening its eyes.
Footage shared by Pear Video shows the slow loris hiding behind a computer as a vet tried to catch it.
When another vet, who held a chewing bone, approached the primate, the animal immediately put its hands over its head and started screaming.
The two vets later worked together to hold the animal as they tried to calm it down for medical treatment.
Mr Wang told MailOnline that the animal had been found by the pupils at the local Guangming School in mid August.
It was said to be heavily wounded when it was found and had lost most of its hair due to a skin disease. It also had cat blood all over its body.
A teacher from the school kept the slow loris for about two weeks trying to look after the slow loris, but its health did not improve. Therefore, the teacher went to Mr Wang’s centre for help.
The slow loris was heavily wounded when some school pupils found it in Shenyang
The pupils gave the animal to their teacher who tried to look after the animal. However its health was not improving, so the teacher went to Shenyang Raptor Rescue Centre for help
Mr Wang suspected the slow loris had been caught and kept by animal traffickers. He said the animal usually live in tropical southern China, such as the Guangxi Province, but this slow loris was found in Shenyang in north-east China.
Mr Wang also said that it was highly likely that the animal had been ‘treated badly’ by the traders – judging from its reactions to the vets.
He also said that the traffickers had likely abandoned the animal after it fell sick.
Slow loris is the only venomous primate in the world. It has a poisonous gland under either armpit, and when it feels in danger, it would lick the glands which would give them a toxic bite.
Slow loris is one of the most trafficked animals in Asia because people would buy them as pets
‘The animal moves so slowly, so to survive in the nature, it has evolved to have the ability,’ said Mr Wang, who also said that a slow loris would lose its poisonous glands after being kept by humans for more than three months.
The slow loris Mr Wang rescued was not venomous, which led the man to believe that it had been kept by humans for a while.
Luckily, vets were able to treat the animal after they calmed it down.
Mr Wang said the Shenyang Raptor Rescue Centre had been looking after the slow loris after its visit to the clinic, and it was recovering well.
It released a video to MailOnline showing the animal eating a banana in the centre.
Slow loris is a Class I protected animal in China and there are less than 1,000 of them there
According to the centre, it will work with the authority and send the slow loris back to nature in southern China after its health stablises.
He also pleaded the public to stop keeping slow lorises as pets.
‘When the buying stops, the killing can too. Please stop buying them as pets, otherwise they might become extinct in a decade,’ said Mr Wang emotionally.
Slow loris is a Class I protected animal in China. There are less than 1,000 of them in the country, making the animal as precious as the panda.