About Anna

Professor Anna Nekaris

(Also available in Spanish or Belarussian)

Prof Anna Nekaris is a Professor in Anthropology and Primate Conservation studying the unique group of evolutionary distinct primates known as the Asian lorises.  Her studies cover all ten species, including five she named or elevated from subspecies.  Anna is the Course Tutor for the highly acclaimed MSc in Primate Conservation at Oxford Brookes University, Director of the Little Fireface Project and Convenor of the Nocturnal Primate Research Group. She completed her BA in Anthropology at the University of Missouri Columbia,USA in 1993, followed by a Certificat d’Universite de Primatologie from the Universite de Louis Pasteur Strasbourg France in 1994 and her PhD in Anthropology at Washington University St Louis, USA in 2000.

Anna’s research on lorises ranges from behavioural ecology in zoos, rescue centres and in the wild, museum studies, genetics, acoustics, taxonomy, conservation education and now a novel study of chemical ecology and how this bizarre primate is one of the only mammals that produces venom.  Despite reports of this extraordinary phenomenon 40 years ago, virtually nothing is known about how slow lorises use venom. Go to the next tab to see her publications.

Of her more than 60 postgraduate students, over 25 of Anna’s MSc, MRes, MPhil and PhD students, including from range countries, have completed research on lorises. Anna has a world-wide association with rescue centres, field stations, and zoos with need of advice regarding lorises.  Anna’s advice has also been sought when an illegal YouTube video of a pet loris, which violated international legislation, became viral reaching over 12 million hits.  Lorises are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species therefore Anna campaigned on over 800 radio stations and television programmes to urge YouTube to remove this illegal video –  it is one example of how her research has worldwide impact.

Anna hopes her research will convince people that lorises do not make good pets.  They are wild animals.  All species of loris are threatened with extinction.  Some are amongst the rarest primates on the planet.  It is her hope that they can remain in the forest for as long as possible so we can learn more about these most unique primates.

Watch Anna help to rescue a pet slow loris


42 thoughts on “About Anna


  1. Hiya,
    I’m a Conservation Biology student from the UK and currently I’m doing an assignment on Conservation Strategies. The species I chose to do my assignment on was the Javan Slow Loris. Basically every journal I read has your name attached to it somewhere, every video I watch there’s a mention of you in in. I think you’re an inspiration Anna, you’re carrying out the sort of work I dream of being involved in. It makes me proud that there are people like you in the world!
    Thank-you for being a hero! x

  2. I came across a video on CNN of the “world’s cutest animal” – a video of a Loris eating a rice ball. After some poking around, reading about these admittedly cute creatures, I came across your webpage and videos. Thank you so much for all that you do – for educating the world, including myself, on the plight of these animals.

  3. You are doing such important work. I will help in any way I can. Thanks for doing such a wonderful job.

  4. Protecting our animal and it’s hebitart today may be saving our world for the future.This beautiful planet is belong to all speaces.Our human activety have caused damage to the animal and the environment.The Slow Loris in Indunesia ,Jawa and Sumathra are under thret of extinction as a result of habitat loss,illegal trade and domestication by human.I think to protect them it’s habitat need to be protected.If we can build the government pressure and tighten wildlife low and find alternative job and income for human then we have longterm solution . You are doing a wonderfull job .

  5. I never knew of these animals until I read the BBC News page on the new species of Slow Loris. Followed the links and saw the clip about the illegal street market trade. The treatment of these animals bought a tear to my eye and anger to my heart. Unbelievable how some people can abuse natures children. The empathy you have for these creatures touched me. At least they have a chance to survive thanks to you. I’ve signed the petitions and donated. Wish I could do more. Thank you for all you are doing.

  6. i bought some bandanas as a christmas present for my daughter ,martha. she urged me to read more about lorises, and i’ve been enchanted(by the lovely little lorises), and appalled(at their treatment) in equal measure. i have just adopted a loris,everyone should ! ADOPT ONE TODAY!!! TOMORROW MAY BE TOO LATE!! Bless you,Anna,and your team.

  7. I was on Derawan island two weeks ago and believe that one of the locals there keeps a Loris in a cage. Can you rescue him or her?

    • Although this is indeed tragic and sad, the best thing you can do is photograph and document it and send the evidence to the local BKSDA office, saying that you saw that person keeping a protected species illegally, as a pet, and that you feel the should be penalised, imprisoned and fined. The normal procedure would be that the animal might be confiscated and simply hard released into the forest with no disease checks, and the family gets no penalty. If it is sick, this is even worse for the local lorises, and the family will just get another loris anyway. It is very delicate, but is the fate of 100s of lorises.

  8. I love everything you’re doing, saving animals from nature, as well as my trbalho save the children. I love your work.

  9. I saw the tv program about lorises last night with my kids. Fascinating scientifically (saliva/venom as insect repellent??) but also with a very important conservation message. I had seen the loris video on youtube and did wonder, as a zoologist, how it could be legal, and it also made me think about the limits of mindless greed of our all-consuming civilization. It’s a good thing some people (like Anna) are swimming against the tide.

  10. Aunt Anna:
    I’m a senior high school student from China.I saw the video about lorises with my younger brother just now and was deeply moved by your efforts in helping the precious animal.My brother is 12 years old and he was so angry with what the dealers had done on them that he didn’t have dinner and he said he really want to be a part of you.”Please say ‘hello’ to aunt Anna,I hope that I can do something in changing lorises’ destiny in the future .”He is saying so when I am writting down these words.Thank you again ,from the bottom of my heart.

    • This is such a beautiful comment- thanks so much. Please tell you brother to tell all his friends! If you send me your address to littlefireface@gmail.com I would be happy to send him a Little Fireface Project sticker so he can help spread the loris conservation word to his friends. Maybe one day he can make a YouTube video with his friends about why they love lorises to share with our children in Java (it is a new project we are working on and we want the children there, who are the same age) to see how others in the rest of the world care about lorises and to come together :-)

  11. I watched your your TV programme last night and it touch my heart. I woke up this morning and could not stopping think about these beautiful little Loris and the wonderful work you are doing. I have donated and I am going to sign the petition and carry on supporting your hard work.

  12. Anna,
    Saw you on the show about bigfoot a few days ago on one of the science channels. Never new who you were. So I looked you up on google. That’s when I first heard of a loris. I never knew they existed. It’s a very cool effort you’re doing. I wonder how many species have existed that we don’t know about or will never know about that are now gone. Or ones that haven’t been found yet. With the way people are, there might not be any animals left soon. I personally like the big cats. Lions, tigers, cheetahs, leopards. I don’t get why people kill them just to do it for fame or to have as a trophy. It’s a waste of life.To borrow a line from Tom Scholz(Boston, Third stage), it takes more than a tattoo and the right cigarette- To be a man. We need about 10,000 or so groups like yours to help keep all these animals here.

  13. I am full of admiration for the wonderful work you are doing to help prevent the extinction of these beautiful creatures,your work is invaluable to the natural world.don`t ever give up the fight for the slow loris

  14. You have a significant presence in humans seeing human like creatures. Psychology or crypto zoology, existence or not, the observer is the real story. Believing is seeing.

  15. This is amazing Anna. You are living my dream and are making a real difference towards conserving these species. Your dedication, knowledge and understanding of these precious primates is influential and I believe it is what is required for people to understand that these creatures belong in the wild and not in cages.
    I would love to be able to help you and your team preserve the remaining wild populations and to empower people to turn away from illegal pet trade and to help save them from exinction.

  16. What a wonderful job you are trying to do. There must be tremendous satisfaction some times and great disappointment at others, but a terrific challenge at the best of times.
    Some of the posts mention “adopting a loris”. Could you e-mail me some more information on it please.

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  19. Hello! Just saw a presentation online where you talk about why you became involved with Yeti research. I’d like to alert you to the existence of a group called Treepeekers based on the west coast and in the midwest USA. I urge you to look at what they do at https://www.facebook.com/TreepeekersDuo/info . I am a part of their group and have captured some very interesting things on camera (Canon XA 10). My background can be seen at http://www.its-dms.com/PEOPLE.html .

  20. I just watched your documentary on the bbc about loris’. I saw the YouTube clip of the loris being tickled and was one of those people who thought that’s so cute, I really want one of those.
    But after watching your program it has opened my eyes. I never realised how awful the treatment of these animals is by the illegal pet traders. They are wild animals and should remain that way.
    I was touched by how emotional you became when you saw the treatment they received in the pet markets and it brought a tear to my eye. I just thought you should know that you are getting through to people that these animals are not pets. Keep up the fantastic work.

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  22. Hi Anna,
    I recently saw your program on the Natural World about the slow loris. It left me partly in awe at the beauty of our planet and the species that inhabit it but partly depressed at the mindless destruction caused by man. The footage in the animal markets is terrible.
    As populations boom and natural habitats shrink, it’s very hard to keep thinking positively about the future. If we allow animals as spectacular as the tiger, rhino and also the loris to disappear, then really what are the hopes for smaller, less obviously striking creatures.
    I’m full of admiration for your work and your passion and only wish that there were more people like yourself around.

  23. Eu amei este animalzinho. Por favor, quem quem pode fazer algo para que termine este tráfico, façam. Pobrezinho dele, tão pequenino.
    O ser humano é muito ruim hen!

  24. Anna, great to see what you’re doing for the loris and congrats on your professorship. Please do keep going! All the best.

  25. I live in Sumatra, I was struck by the fact of lemurs .. thanks for your program, and hopefully Indonesian society more aware of it .. Tq

  26. Good evening Anna,

    Thank you for all of your work and efforts, your work is greatly appreciated. I would like to help the cause. If you can please send me any information on how to, please do. Thank you for all you do Anna!

  27. Hi Anna,
    I greatly admire your work and I have a project that would serve to support it and other environmental causes. And I would greatly value your impression of the plan. May I send the concept statement to you or a close associate directly?
    If so, please provide an email address and I will send the document right away.
    Thank you and happy holidays,
    Dave Akers

  28. Have watched…..BF:The Definitive Guide. I’m watching again. I live in California, but born in Montana. I have heard many stories. It would be nice to meet and discuss about this topic.

  29. Hello Anna. This will be a bit long but please bear with me :)

    Years ago, when i was a little kid, my brother brought this beautiful creature and told me, “This creature is very hard to find”. It was a beautiful coucang. I was so mesmerized by it that I decided that I wanted to become a vet to help the coucang & other animals in the future. Flashback to present day, I’m currently taking BaSc (w. Hons) (Conservation Biology) in Universiti Malaysia Sabah, in Borneo. A bit different from my previous ambition but nonetheless I was ecstatic; I have a chance to work with animals! I was thinking of a beneficial topic for my Biogeography assignment & chose coucang because of that little kid’s memory.

    Turns out it was a wake-up call for me, after all.

    I’ve been reading your research papers and articles for a while and was appalled at how these lorises were treated. The fact that slow lorises are threatened by those irresponsible human made me realize that I have to do better so I can defend the lives of this small creatures. Frankly speaking, your contributions on the conservation of the loris is one of the factor that makes me want to fight back and never give up for the sake of the loris & other threatened species.

    I really hoped that I can see you between September 2016 and January 2017 (20 of the students including myself were chosen to join International Student Mobility Program and we’ll be studying for 1 semester in Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia) and do the best I can to help you and your team on saving the loris.

    Sincerely from Borneo, Kamallia.

    • Thank you for your message – you can always email us at littlefireface@gmail.com. I (Anna) will certainly be in Indonesia at some point during that time frame -you are also very welcome to visit our kukang project even if I am not there we have a wonderful team!

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