Monday the 14th of September marks the launch the 4th annual Slow Loris Outreach Week (SLOW – slender lorises of course can join us too!!)
Professor Anna Nekaris is the director and founder of The Little Fireface Project. She has been researching these charismatic primates for many years. Very few people in western countries had ever heard of a loris. In their native ranges, slow lorises were already known for a variety of reasons, be them romantic, mystical, or tragic. For example, seeing or hearing a loris can bring you luck – good or bad; lorises are believed by some to wait at the gates of the afterlife; these strong slow animals are also believed to cure over 100 diseases, leading to their near extinction in some Asian countries.
For more than 20 years, slow lorises in particular have been seen in the pet trade throughout Asia, causing increasing destruction to their wild numbers. It was in 2009, however, that this trade got global awareness when a video of an illegally smuggled and cruelly kept loris went viral, bringing the possibility of having this internationally protected species as a pet to millions all over the world.
Here at Shaldon, we are home to three different species of loris. We support Anna and the LFP, and give you the opportunity to see these enigmatic creatures in a natural nocturnal exhibit. When you visit us, you can hear our keepers deliver talks on their plight, and information on all that you can do to to help. We hope to see lots of your faces this week, so that we can all go SLOW for September!