This week the ‘Slow Loris Eating Sticky Rice’ video has gone more viral than ever before. Somehow people think that this video is okay…the loris looks healthy. It looks cute. The ‘owner’ is taking ‘gentle care’ of the loris and ‘at least she has teeth.’ And oh…it looks like this owner has gotten his loris legally from a pet shop in Japan – because he is telling other people on his video where they can buy a slow loris for about £1500. See above for photos of terrible conditions of lorises in Japanese pet shops.
We have already mentioned on this site all the reasons why most legal lorises are still NOT legal. Pet stores can serve as a front to sell those smuggled from the wild. If pet stores are lucky enough to breed, the PARENTS must have been legally imported under CITES. If the parents were smuggled, the loris is still illegal. The loris in the rice video is a Sunda slow loris of the type from Sumatra. This type is rarely in captivity and there is not even a stable breeding programme for it in zoos as it has since been separated into several species.
I interviewed a Japanese pet shop owner and he told me that he may get a loris to breed every three years and that is very rare. I on the other hand worked with the Japanese Wildlife Conservation Society who was working against the horrific illegal traffic of slow lorises into Japan, and during a two-day workshop met with many people at zoos and rescue centres who house the confiscated animals that were destined to land into Japan’s illegal slow loris trade. See photos above of this workshop.
Lorises thrive on gum, nectar and insects. Eating rice is NOT a natural diet. Lorises are nocturnal. Living in the light is painful. Lorises are tree dwellers. Clinging to a fork is a sign of terrified stress. This video is NOT cute. This is a cruel reminder that some animals just happen to survive a trade where thousands perish.