Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Loris Awareness Week

Since September 16th is Loris Awareness Week, I'd like to call into attention the illegal primate pet trade that is getting worse and needs to be stopped. Primates are taken out of their natural habitat and illegally smuggled out to be turned into "cute" house pets. We won't be helping if we all think that primates make good pets and that you want to own one because "they are cute". Instead we should educate ourselves on why some animals are just not meant to be pets (adopt a shelter dog or cat instead!). Besides being turned into house pets, some primates are also taken from the wild so that they can be "movie stars". I implore you, my readers, to not support any movies or TV shows that use primates as animal actors. If you do not want to boycott the movie or show, at least understand why the only primate that should be actors are humans.

There are purportedly "cute" videos of slow lorises popping up on Youtube, in which, I generally watch in horror and disbelieve. I won't link any of these videos on this post but a quick search for "Tickling Slow Loris" would bring you to one such video. As a New Yorker, I only have one response to that video. "The slow loris is scared and is in a defensive posture, stupid!" But I digress. Besides being turned into pets, slow lorises are also hunted for traditional medicine.

Illegal Wildlife Trade fact sheet from  Dr Anna Nekaris's Little Fireface Project website
I wouldn't do any justice on these cute prosimians but head on to Dr Anna Nekaris's Little Fireface Project to read about her work on slow lorises and her team's effort to save slow lorises through better awareness and education.


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