Untung the slow loris is returned to the forest
At the beginning of May a team from our primate rehabilitation centre in Ciapus released a Javan slow loris called Untung back into the wild. He was released on the Sawal mountain in a regency called Ciamis in West Java.
Untung had been surrendered to the local police on 30 April by people who claimed that he was roaming around in their residential area and coming close to the houses. They were worried about his well-being so they caught him and took him to the police. The police then contacted the Forestry Department who in turn contacted International Animal Rescue.
He was in good body condition, very active and healthy with good, undamaged teeth.
Untung was taken directly to the IAR release site nearby and placed in a habituation cage to give him time to recover from the stress of transportation and get used to the new environment (noises, smell, temperature etc.) As they opened the transport box, at first he was a bit hesitant but then he reached out for some branches and climbed fast up to the top of a Jackfruit tree. He then sat there for a while and observed the monitoring team through the foliage.
Untung was supposed to stay in the habituation enclosure for a while. However, he escaped the very first night but it was not a problem because the team had already fitted him with a radio-collar.
Our monitoring team is now following him and so far he is doing really well. According to Hilmi (one of the guides of the monitoring team) Untung’s behaviour is very wild judging by his response when he sees and hears people (he evades and runs off). This makes the story of the locals believable.
The Plight of the Slow Loris
The slow loris in Indonesia is in serious danger of extinction and the greatest threat to its survival is the illegal trade in wildlife. Its huge brown eyes and soft fur make this small nocturnal primate highly prized as a pet and the victim of an online craze created by videos on YouTube. Thousands of slow lorises are poached from the wild and illegally sold on the street or in animal markets.
The slow lorises' teeth are clipped off by the traders to make them easy to handle, resulting in the death of many of them from blood loss or infection before they are sold. International Animal Rescue runs the only slow loris rescue and rehabilitation centre in Indonesia. At our facility in Ciapus, Java we provide specialist treatment and care for slow lorises confiscated from the markets or surrendered by their owners. Visit our slow loris pet trade information page to learn more about the trade and how to respond to online videos and images.