Snatched from the wild and con­fined to a cage. Can you help change my fate?

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Wild Comment - Donate to­day at ptes.org/ slowloris

Our team in Java is study­ing and pro­tect­ing slow lorises in the vil­lages of North East Java. One loris, a three-year old male named Xerxes who is fit­ted with a ra­dio col­lar, re­cently es­tab­lished his ter­ri­tory and found a mate. But last month, Xerxes’ ra­dio sig­nal stopped mov­ing. So did the sig­nals on the col­lars of two other lorises, which were found dis­carded on the ground. Trag­i­cally, it ap­pears poach­ers had snatched Xerxes and his com­pan­ions from the trees, and re­moved their col­lars, most likely by killing them. Lo­cals spoke of witch doc­tors who had trav­elled to the vil­lage, know­ing that slow lorises were in the area. Witch doc­tors are com­mon in In­done­sia, so sadly it’s very likely that Xerxes was watched, taken from the for­est and killed so his body could be used for black magic.

Many slow lorises face this ter­ri­ble fate. Even more are stolen and sold live as pets, or for use as props in tourist self­ies. And, be­cause slow lorises are ven­omous, their teeth are of­ten pulled out, usu­ally with­out any anaes­thetic. Even if they’re res­cued, most can’t be re­turned to the wild as they can no longer feed prop­erly.

We’re work­ing with un­der­cover traf­fic of­fi­cers to mon­i­tor the il­le­gal trade in Java and stop it. We have in­for­ma­tion that 120 slow lorises are cur­rently be­ing sold for pets and medicines. With your help, you could help us con­fis­cate them.

Can you help end this suf­fer­ing?

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