Slow Loris Who Was Returned to Her Jungle Home Surprises Rescuers With a Baby

Malabar, an adorable but critically endangered Javan slow loris, was being illegally kept as a pet.

Malabar was not alone. The ongoing demand for slow lorises as pets has continued to threaten their survival in the wild and has caused immense suffering to those in captivity. International Animal Rescue (IAR) estimates that every single day, three slow lorises are poached from the wild. Of these, an average of one dies.

In 2013, Malabar was rescued by the Nature Conservation Agency in West Java and sent to IAR for care and recovery.

This past January, she was released back into the wild at the Wildlife Conservation Area in Mount Sawal, which is an ideal release site for slow lorises since it has the greatest level of protection from human activities.

When rescuers recently went to check on her and remove her radio as part of a post-release monitoring program, she wasn’t alone – she had a baby clinging to her.

“It is great news that Malabar has bred naturally in the wild, as this is one of the best indicators of a successful rehabilitation process,” said Alan Knight, IAR chief executive, “We’re also delighted that she and her son are contributing to the wild Javan slow loris population in Mount Sawal.”

While it’s hoped Malabar and her little one will continue to thrive in their rightful home in the wild, many other slow lorises won’t be so lucky.

Of the eight recognized species of slow loris native to South and Southeast Asia, four are now listed as “Vulnerable” and one, the Javan slow loris, is now listed as “Critically Endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) – the remaining three haven’t been evaluated.

As IAR has previously pointed out, these shy, nocturnal animals are easily stressed and endure a number of heartbreaking abuses after being torn from their homes that range from being confined and fed inappropriate diets, to having their teeth crudely clipped or broken off without anesthesia to make them defenseless, which often leads to infection and death.

While some may be able to be released, many others will not. IAR has helped hundreds of them and is currently caring for 157 of them at its primate rescue center.

The demand for slow lorises has been helped along by people sharing videos of them on social media they think are cute – especially ones that feature slow lorises being tickled. Last year, IAR launched a Tickling is Torture campaign in an effort to raise awareness about their plight and get more people to stop unwittingly promoting cruelty to these little creatures.

For more info on how to raise awareness about the slow loris pet trade and to help them in the wild, visit Tickling is Torture and the Little Fireface Project.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

193 comments

Guy C
Guy C1 years ago

A long and happy life to Malabar and her baby....
Let us hope that many many others slow lorises will know the same way....
Congratulations to IAR and NCA for their excellent work...
Didactic spots should be created and shown to the public and, mainly to the young people, to sensitive them in the beauty of these animals in their natural environment....
This could help, surely, the regress of this horrible trade (because without buyers, no sales)....

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joan silaco
joan silaco2 years ago

TYFS

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Jennifer H.
Jennifer H2 years ago

This slow loris wasn't so slow when it came to getting away from the examiners! Nice story. Thanks for sharing.

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Nellie K Adaba
Nellie K Adaba2 years ago

I've seen slow loris and sugar gliders on TV. So cute.

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Renata Kovacs
Renata Kovacs2 years ago

Awwwww sweet..

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Nena MILLER
Nena MILLER2 years ago

That is such a cute story!

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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renee lusian
renee lusian2 years ago

Wonderful news.

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Berenice Guedes de Sá
Berenice Guedes2 years ago

So cute! Thanks for sharing!!

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