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New Slow Loris Species Already Endangered

Dori Edwards, Global Animal

A new species has come to light after a team of international researchers in Borneo discovered an unfamiliar species of slow loris. The previously undiscovered animal, alongside two other slow lorises considered before to be sub-species, has been formally recognized as its own unique species.

A newly discovered species of slow loris is in danger of extinction. Photo credit: Duke Lemur Center / David Haring / Ch'ien C Lee via the guardian

A newly discovered species of slow loris is in danger of extinction. Photo credit: Duke Lemur Center / David Haring / Ch’ien C Lee via the guardian

The slow loris is a nocturnal primate closely related to lemurs and known for its distinct facial markings and toxic bite. Published in the American Journal of Primatology, the new type of loris, titled Nycticebus kayan, was found in the central-east highland area of Borneo’s jungle. According to a statement made by the scientists, “Nycticebus kayan is a new group unrecognized before as distinct.”

Unfortunately, the UK and United States scientists claim that the species is already endangered. Because of its “teddy bear face,” the animal is an attractive commodity in the Asian pet trade.

Rachel Munds, a member of the team and University of Missouri doctoral student, stated “Unfortunately, in addition to habitat loss to deforestation, there is a booming black market demand for the animals. They are sold as pets, used as props for tourist photos or dismembered for use in traditional Asian medicines.”

According to Care2, YouTube videos of captive slow lorises have contributed to the local and international demand for these beautiful animals. The trade is an inhumane and cruel activity in which sellers pull the slow loris’ teeth with pliers in order to prevent the toxic bite.

The trade has greatly decreased the population of this unique and endangered species. Sign the petition and encourage YouTube to disallow the publishing of videos portraying captive slow lorises.

You can also sign the petition influencing the Indonesian president to ban the trade and sale of slow lorises.

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