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International Animal Rescue Saving animals from suffering around the world

Twenty-one slow lorises saved from a wildlife trader in Indonesia

Victims of the illegal wildlife trade (Photo: ProFauna)Twenty-one endangered slow lorises that were among several rare wildlife species seized by police in East Java are being cared for by International Animal Rescue’s team in Indonesia. They will be moved as soon as possible from the police facilities to IAR’s rescue centre near Bogor to be given veterinary treatment in the hope that they will all survive. Animals that are caught from the wild for the illegal pet trade suffer physical and psychological trauma. The majority of slow lorises die even before they are sold into captivity.

The illegal wildlife vendor was selling the animals on a main road that is notorious for the open display and sale of protected primates. The endangered species that were confiscated by the police, with assistance from ProFauna Indonesia and the Humane Society International (HSI), included 21 slow loris (Nycticebus coucang), 15 Javan langurs (Trachypithecus auratus), a White-bellied Sea-eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster), and a leopard cat (Felis bengalensis).

In addition, the team was able to arrest the trader who, according to ProFauna's records, has a history of selling protected primates like the slow loris and Javan langur. A slow loris could fetch around 75,000 to 250,000 IDR (or about 7.5 to 25 USD) while a langur cost 200,000 IDR (or about 20 USD).

In order to protect themselves and any potential buyers, pet traders clip down the teeth of slow lorises, causing them excruciating pain and often resulting in a slow painful death from severe blood loss and infection. IAR is currently funding research into whether lorises that have had their teeth cut can still survive in the wild. In the meantime its rescue centre is caring for a growing number of these small nocturnal primates. It is not yet known whether the recently rescued lorises have had their teeth cut.

Alan Knight OBE, Chief Executive of International Animal Rescue, said: "We congratulate the East Java Police Department, ProFauna Indonesia and HIS on this successful operation which we hope will make others think twice before trading illegally in endangered species of wildlife in Indonesia."

Sadly, according to ProFauna’s latest report, 70 bird (animal) markets on Java Island still trade protected species openly and the trade level is still high. One of the surveyed locations is in Ngawi where this seizure took place.

Editor's Notes

The slow loris is a nocturnal primate which, even though it is legally protected in Indonesia, is frequently and openly traded. Lorises are sold at the roadside to passing drivers and in the notorious animal markets. Jakarta alone has three big markets where all sorts of animals are traded, both legally and illegally.

As it is illegal to trade slow lorises, International Animal Rescues works closely with the local authorities and the police to catch the dealers and bring them to court. IAR aims to return rescued lorises to the wild whenever possible but also provides lifelong sanctuary for any animals that can no longer fend for themselves.