Shocking condition of rescued lorises reveals terrible cruelty of the illegal pet trade
The shocking condition of two slow lorises caught from the wild and kept as pets is a stark reminder of the cruelty these primates suffer at the hands of illegal wildlife traders.
The two lorises were surrendered by their owner to the forest department (BKSDA) in Pontianak, West Borneo on 21 September 2016. The BKSDA then sent them by plane to Ketapang where staff from our rescue and rehabilitation centre were waiting to receive them.
It was immediately obvious that both lorises were in extremely poor condition. Their teeth had been cut - a practice carried out by market traders to prevent them from biting and make them easier to handle. This callous cruelty causes the death of one in three slow lorises before they are even sold.
One of the lorises was suffering from a severe abscess and the other’s mouth was bleeding. On arrival at our centre they were both assessed by one of the vets and given emergency first aid for their condition.
Both lorises had had their upper canine and premolar teeth cut out. Roberto was suffering from an abscess on his lower jaw. Juan also had an abscess on his lower jaw and cheek, as well as bleeding and infected gums.
The prognosis did not look good. The lorises were given antibiotics, analgesics and anti-inflammatories. They were put on a healthy and nutritious diet. Then, once their condition had stabilised, they underwent surgery to remove the infected teeth and prevent the spread of infection.
Roberto and Juan are now receiving expert care from the team at our centre in Ketapang. They are living peacefully in a shady enclosure where they are fed an appropriate, nutritious diet and able to express as much natural behaviour as their situation allows. Sadly, owing to the terrible damage to their teeth, it is unlikely that the pair will ever be able to return to the wild. They are likely to remain in our care for the rest of their lives, two more victims of the cruel and illegal trade in slow lorises as pets.