Fifteen slow lorises return to freedom in the Sumatran rainforest.
Fifteen Sumatran slow lorises have been released into the Bukit Barisan National Park in Lampung, Sumatra after lengthy rehabilitation at our rescue centre in Bogor, West Java. The release was carried out on 7 August by our team and members of staff at the national park.
The lorises, consisting of six males and nine females, had been confiscated by police or surrendered by members of the public to our team during 2013. They were named: Ahok, Aju, Dodo, Ekor, Gaper, Haneut, Kopi, Merry, Met, Mika, Pinky, Rodek, Sugar, Tordo, Trio.
“Since being rescued, the fifteen protected primates have been restored to health and completed a period of rehabilitation at our centre in Ciapus, Bogor,” said Robithotul Huda, Programme Manager at our Primate Rehabilitation Centre. “Rescued lorises spend between one and four years in rehabilitation at our centre at the foot of Mount Salak,” he added, explaining that it requires considerable time and expense to restore the wild behaviour of lorises that have been victims of traffickers and the illegal pet trade.
On arrival at the centre, rescued slow lorises spend an initial period in quarantine before entering the rehabilitation programme. They are introduced to a natural diet which includes flowers, fruits and a variety of insects and are given the chance to develop the behaviours they will need to survive back in the wild.
“The lorises have been monitored regularly to assess their readiness to return to the forest,” said Huda. “At first, some lacked the behaviours of wild lorises, but now they are all ready to go back to their natural home.”
Bobbi Muhidin, Coordinator of our Release Team, explained that Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park is a suitable release site for lorises because it is a conservation area. “From the results of our surveys, there is wide biodiversity and a plentiful supply of food from the vegetation in the national park.” said Muhidin.
The National Park of Bukit Barisan Selatan is a natural conservation area and the last bastion of tropical rainforest in Lampung Province. As well as its rich biological resources, it boasts a complete ecosystem, from coastal environments to lowland and mountain rainforests. The potential of the national park is such that it can function as a habitat for animal protection and a life support system for the surrounding community.
Una Maulana, Head of the Pemerihan Resort area of the national park, stated that he hoped the released lorises would increase the loris population in the park and would also offer a new research opportunity for future studies.