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